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Should you now avoid leaving your car at the airport?

A fire at NAIA Terminal 3 open parking lot burned 19 vehicles

Imagine coming home to this after a trip. PHOTO FROM MANILA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY

Kind of eerie that I’m writing this piece while preparing to go to the airport for an international flight. You see, a huge fire broke out at the NAIA Terminal 3 open parking lot last Monday (April 22) in the early afternoon—obviously the hottest time of a summer day.

According to the Manila International Airport Authority, a “small grass fire” started the conflagration:

When fire was placed under control at 1340H, a cursory count of the affected vehicles numbered to nineteen (19). The fire was finally contained with MIAA Rescue and Firefighting Division declaring fire out at 1357H. No one was reported hurt or injured as a result of the incident.

Can you still trust an open parking lot after this? PHOTOS FROM MANILA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY

As a frequent traveler (both domestic and overseas), I often leave a car at the airport. And indeed, I have experienced deserting a vehicle in an open parking area. But the Terminal 3 incident should now tell us that we must avoid entrusting our ride to an uncovered parking lot, where our car is exposed to the elements. A closed structure will always be the safest option if we are to abandon our vehicle for several days.

After this blaze, we will all surely find it difficult to go to another country while also worrying about the security and the safety of our car. Time to check the fine print of our car insurance and of the airport parking ticket.

We suggest just leaving your car at home when traveling. PHOTO FROM MANILA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY

Maybe this should also convince us to leave the car at home and just take a Grab to the airport. Nothing beats peace of mind when traveling away from home and our valuables.

Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist since July 1995. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. God has watched over him throughout his humble journey. He writes the ‘Spoiler’ column.