Business group backs Naia, Clark redevelopment
The Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) has called for a holistic solution to Greater Manila Area’s clamor for a more modern, spacious and efficient aviation system, backing the redevelopment of both the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) and Clark International Airport (CIA).
“The rapid increase in the volume of visitors to the Philippines, most of whom pass through the Naia, calls for immediate action and the harnessing of all available resources to promptly provide the needed infrastructure and management support for the growing number of air passengers,” MAP said in a position paper.
Airport infrastructure is a hot item for many business groups, which are keen on participating in aviation-related projects sanctioned by the government.
MAP said a city airport, such as Naia, had the “great advantage of accessibility.” As such, MAP backed the Department of Transportation’s decision to maintain and upgrade this valuable state asset.
“Many large cities in the world recognize this, so they are improving and maintaining their old airports instead of phasing them out, as some had planned for Naia. Tokyo is expanding its Haneda to supplement Narita. Shanghai has its HongXiao in addition to Pudong. Berlin’s Tempelhoff continues to operate in addition to Tegel. Washington, D.C. has Reagan National besides Dulles and Baltimore.
“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,” the group said.
In the meantime, MAP said a fast train between Tutuban and Clark had been presented as part of the “Build, Build, Build” program under “Dutertenomics.” A fast train link between the two airports —passing through the metropolis at a travel time of one hour maximum—is seen enabling Clark to augment Naia’s operations while serving the needs of air travelers to and from Central and Northern Luzon.
“For better connectivity and convenience of the traveling public, we suggest that the proposed fast train to Clark be extended to Naia, instead of terminating at Tutuban, Manila,” it said.
MAP said “in-city” check-in stations would be another vital infrastructure component, adding that these check-in stations should be easily accessible and are to 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 proposed fast train terminal at the junction of Gil Puyat Avenue and PNR line in Makati while another can be set up at the MRT3 common station in Quezon City, the paper said.
Pending the train service, MAP recommended 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.
“We believe that, together with the other components of the envisioned aviation system, optimization will extend the usefulness of Naia for another eight to 10 years. However, we strongly recommend that 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,’’ MAP said.
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