October 20, 2017, 9:18 am
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Business bats for dual airport

The Management Association of the Philippines (MAP)  is batting for a dual airport, that is, both NAIA  and Clark  complemented by a fast train system linking both gateways. 

In a statement, MAP said these are the two key components of what it advocates as a holistic approach to the development of an aviation for the Greater Manila Area and Luzon.

Coupled with this aviation system, MAP believes optimization will extend the usefulness of NAIA for another eight to 10 years.

But the group said it would be ideal that before the end of the current administration in 2022, a definite path can be plotted for the future of NAIA.  

The group said it fully supports  the plan of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to optimize, through upgrades, the existing NAIA while redeveloping the Clark International Airport (CIA)

MAP said a city airport, such as NAIA, has the great advantage of accessibility citing  many large cities in the world which  are improving and maintaining their old airports instead of phasing them out. 

Tokyo is expanding Haneda to supplement Narita; Shanghai has its HongXiao in addition to Pudong; Berlin’s Tempelhoff continues to operate in addition to Tegel and Washington, D.C. has Reagan National besides Dulles and Baltimore.

 “We back the decision of DOTr to maintain and upgrade NAIA, a valuable state asset. Upgrading the existing NAIA facilities now will provide early and welcome relief to the present problem of severe passenger and aircraft traffic congestion at a time well within the term of the current administration. Pending completion of the upgrades, one quick way of mitigating the congestion in NAIA is to make Clark attractive as an alternate departure and arrival airport through appropriate inducements,” MAP said. 

 But the group suggested that for better connectivity and convenience of the traveling public,  the proposed fast train to Clark should be extended to NAIA, instead of terminating at Tutuban in  Manila.

MAP is referring to a proposed fast train between Tutuban and Clark under    the “Build, Build, Build” program of Dutertenomics. 

“A fast train link between the two airports, passing through the metropolis at a travel time of one hour maximum, will enable Clark to augment NAIA’s operations while it, at the same time, serves the needs of air travelers to and from Central and Northern Luzon,” MAP said. 

Another vital component that MAP is pushing under this aviation system is the establishment of in-city check-in stations where  travellers can dropoff their baggage before they board the train similar to those n large metropolitan cities, including Singapore and Hong Kong.

MAP said these in-city check-in stations should be strategically located adjacent to the fast train and near either the NLEX-SLEX expressway or EDSA. 

One such facility could be located at the MPIC-proposed fast train terminal at the junction of Gil Puyat (Buendia) avenue and PNR line in Makati. 

MAP said the MRT3 Common Station at the intersection of EDSA and North Avenue in Quezon City would be a good site for the second station, if such will likewise be served by or linked to the fast train. 
“Pending the train service, we recommend the setting up of transport connection from these check-in stations to NAIA and to Clark via point-to-point (P2P) airport limousine service using modern tourist-type buses that can quickly negotiate the distance,” MAP said.
“We strongly recommend  the government look beyond that time frame and plan for the long term sustainable future of NAIA. Studies have been made to increase the airside capacity of NAIA with the construction of a new parallel runway. Others involve complementing or replacing NAIA with a new airport,” it said.

The group also recommends the creation of  a centralized management of the entire aviation system under a single authority would appear for expeditious decision-making, better control, and efficient coordination. 

This does not preclude the setting up of a separate managing board for each facility under the supervision of the centralized authority. 

An option, MAP said, is  the outsourcing of operation and maintenance (O&M) of each facility using the Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode.

It said  outsourcing of O&M would enable the government to avail of private sector expertise, technology, and incentive system for efficient O&M of the facilities without giving up ownership and control of strategic capital assets for aviation.
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