Triathletes who took part in the Ironman 70.3 Puerto Princesa are upset because their CO2 inflators were confiscated by airport authorities who claimed they are dangerous and are not allowed in carry-on or checked luggage on planes.

The athletes claim that these are helpful tools that enable them to easily remedy low tire pressure and get back out on the trail.

“Confiscated lahat ng inflators namin dito sa Puerto, ba’t ganun? Grabe [ang] reklamo dito [sa airport] kase yung iba from international flights, from other airports, puwede madala. Pero dito sa Puerto, hindi daw puwede,” a triathlete who did not want to be identified told Palawan News yesterday in a private message.

He was one of 1,221 triathletes who arrived in the city from Central Visayas for the first-ever Ironman 70.3 in Puerto Princesa, organized by Sunrise Events, Inc. on November 13.

The one-day event had them swim one loop of 1.9 kilometers in the bay, bike three loops of 90 kilometers in the southern part of the city to the Iwahig Bridge, and run two loops of 21 kilometers in the downtown area.

“Ang sa amin lang din naman, baka masisira name nang Puerto because of this. We know may next year pa baka because of this di na babalik ang iba,” dagdag pa niya.

Depending on the brand, each CO2 inflator costs between P200 and P650. He said they are lightweight and easy to carry, saving them time and effort over manual pumps.

Office of Transportation Security (OTS) chief Jonathan Gabuco explained to Palawan News in a call that under the Dangerous Goods Regulation, portable tire inflators are considered dangerous for aircraft.

When they found them in the triathletes’ carry-on bags and checked luggage yesterday, November 14, they consulted with the local offices of the airlines and were told that they couldn’t be brought on the plane.

“Under kasi ang item ng dangerous goods regulation, and sa security naman dahil yong mga participants sa Ironman is dumadaan sa security check, ang nangyayari once nakita yan ni security personnel, nire-refer nila sa concerned agency or airline concerned,” he said.

“According sa airlines, bawal daw po. Yon ang ginawang reference ng mga security personnel. Lahat sila, Air Asia, Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines. Si airline kasi ang magde-decide dyan. Ang makakasagot niyan si airline kasi policy nila yon,” Gabuco added.

The triathlete, however, countered that they were able to transport it to the city from their airports of origin. Ironman racers from other countries, he said, were permitted to carry them.

“May nag approach talaga sa mismong airlines kanina, pumayag naman ang airlines, pero mismong security dito sa airport ang di pwede. That’s the truth. Wala sa airlines ang problema,” he said.

However, a local airline employee, who also requested anonymity, claimed otherwise.

She clarified that they are prohibited items and will be confiscated due to compressed gas, which can fail unexpectedly.

“Hindi naman kami DG (dangerous goods) aircraft like yong sa mga nagdadala ng cargoes kaya bawal talaga. Kahit maliit, kung marami naman, delikado pa rin. Kahit empty bawal din,” the source said, adding they’re not allowed in any way by air.

She advised passengers to be cautious about the dangerous goods they intend to transport on their flights. They must always check with the airlines to see what is and is not permitted.

Gabuco explained that all confiscated items are turned over to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines-Security and Intelligence Service (CAAP-SIS).

About Post Author

Previous articleCanada eyes working with PH to boost economic cooperation, fight climate change
Next article1,800 Filipino workers in hospitality, healthcare industry wanted in Israel, Saudi
has been with Palawan News since January 2019. She is its managing editor, overseeing and coordinating day-to-day editorial activities. Her writing interests are politics and governance, health, defense, investigative journalism, civic journalism, and the environment.