New transport chief to remove cargo, private planes from NAIA

Trishia Billones, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 28 2016 02:17 PM

General aviation operators involved in air charter, air cargo, aviation training, aircraft maintenance, and corporate flight operations will soon be asked to vacate the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Pasay City.

They will be transferred to either the Sangley Point in Cavite and Laguna Lake or the Fernando Air Base in Lipa, Batangas, according to incoming Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade.

"Magkakaroon ka ng additional aviation space, 18 to 22 percent, alisin mo yan. Napakalaki ho niyan," Tugade said on ANC's Headstart.

According to the official website of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), they lease the spaces and hangars in the 44-hectare General Aviation Area in NAIA to some general aviation operators.

"Aalisin ko ho yung general aviation sa NAIA. Ililipat ko ho yan either sa Sangley or sa Lipa," said Tugade.

He does not credit himself for the idea, as this was already suggested to past transportation ministers, but Tugade said he has the will to implement this change.

"Gugustuhin ko ito," he said.

The Department of Transportation will issue the notice to the general aviation operators within his first 100 days in office.

"You will give them enough time to move out. Hindi naman pwedeng sabihing bukas alis na kayo. I have to give them also an alternative place to go to," he said.

However, the speedy development of the relocation sites and the immediate transfer of the general aviation operations there will require the "special powers" Tugade endorses for President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.

"Kailangan ko yang emergency power dyan, a. Una, para alisin ang aviation; pangalawa, para ayusin ang Sangley nang mabilisan, agaran," he said.

He said has spoken with some owners of these chartered private planes and there have been no opposition so far.

"Pumapayag ho sila. Ang sabi nila, gawin mo. Bigyan mo kami ng lugar na pagliliparan. We will show our commitment to the Duterte government," Tugade said.

OTHER AIRPORTS

Tugade is also eyeing the construction and development of at least six airports at the start of Duterte's term. Included in the list are Clark International Airport and NAIA.

"In Clark, you have the space. The development must be pushed and pushed hard at the Clark International Airport. Nandoon po yung physical territory where you can expand," he said.

NAIA, which he said can still be useful within the next seven years, must be improved along with Clark.

"The remedy for Clark and NAIA is they can co-exist and therefore, they must be improved and developed," said Tugade.

Tugade is also keen on forging Private-Public Partnerships (PPP) for other airports, as long as private companies do not ask the government for cash-out, sovereign guarantee, or obligatory transfer of airplanes from other airports.

This, as the Duterte administration hopes to cut the PPP bidding process down to six months.

"Babaguhin yung ibang mga requirements dun sa PPP para mapabilis yung proseso. Babaguhin din yung mga requirement para it is not a limiting requirement, but encompassing requirement," said Tugade.