Thursday, September 13, 2018

DOTr to Pursue Multi-Airport Strategy in PH

Wazzup Pilipinas!

In a bid to enhance mobility and connectivity, and to help address congestion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade once again reiterated his position to develop multiple airports in the country.

In a senate hearing to discuss issues and proposed solutions in line with the NAIA mishap involving Xiamen Air held last Monday, 10 September, Sec. Tugade reiterated that the direction of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) is to construct new airports, and improve/rehabilitate/expand existing gateways, such as the NAIA.

"We have our Aviation Roadmap. Phase 1 is to improve and enhance our primary gateways such as NAIA and Clark International Airport. Kasama din nito ay ang paghahanap ng bagong airports such as Sangley and Bulacan," Sec. Tugade said.

Expansion of the Clark International Airport, which is pushed as an alternative to the premier gateway NAIA, is currently underway. The new passenger terminal building (PTB) broke ground on December 20, 2017, only six months after NEDA Board approval. 

The new PTB is designed to accommodate an additional 8 million passengers every year. Construction of the new terminal, which is now 10% complete, will complement other infrastructure projects in the area such as Manila-Clark Railway, Subic-Clark Cargo Railway, and the New Clark City. 

The MIAA Board has also recommended the granting of Original Proponent Status to the NAIA Consortium for the NAIA rehabilitation project, which includes the improvement and expansion of terminals, construction of additional taxiways, and other support infrastructure. The Concession Agreement will run for 15 years. 

The DOTr is finalizing the Terms of Reference and completing all the documentary requirements that will be submitted to NEDA ICC. 

Further, the DOTr is likewise working to develop and rehabilitate regional airports, and make them available for night-rated operations. 

"Before we came, nasa 15 lang, ngayon higit 20 na ang commercially-operated airports na night-rated. Kasama nito ang improvement ng runway," he added. 

Meanwhile, the new Rapid Exit Taxiways (RETs) at runway 06-24 of the NAIA Terminal 1 had been inaugurated yesterday. These runway exits aim to decongest the long lines of departing aircraft as they allow an aircraft to leave the runway at a faster speed. 

“This has been conceived a long time ago. It's only now that [because of] political will, [we are able] to do it. Indeed, this is a milestone project and will benefit our passengers,” said Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, who witnessed the inauguration along with Tugade, DOTr Undersecretary for Aviation and Airports Manuel Antonio Tamayo, MIAA General Manager Ed Monreal and CAAP Director General Jim Sydiongco. 

Moreover, Sec. Tugade explained that proposed airports in Bulacan and Sangley, Cavite, are part of the Aviation Roadmap, which will address the congestion issue in NAIA. 

The Concession Agreement for the new Bulacan airport is being finalized, while the legal framework for the implementation of the Sangley airport project must first be identified by the Cavite Provincial Government.

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