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Recto: PH needs another airport as Naia nears peak capacity

/ 05:37 PM August 29, 2018
Senator Ralph Recto INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Senator Ralph Recto. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

The government has no choice but to build a new main gateway to the country as the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) nears its peak capacity, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said.

In a statement on Wednesday, Recto referred to Naia’s doubled passenger volume from 20.4 million in 2007 to 42 million last year as the reason for the creation of a new airport.

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“If it is increasing its passenger volume by 2.5 million passengers a year, which was the annual increase growth from 2016 to 2017, then there’s no way that the present facilities can handle 10 million additional passengers by 2022,” Recto said.

“If the projected growth is three million annually, then it will be impossible for its present facilities to accommodate 15 million more passengers in five years,” Recto said.

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The senator said there was a “surplus of plans but a deficit in progress” when it comes to building alternative airports to Naia or expand it so it can accommodate more flights and passengers.

He also noted that merely rehabilitating Naia without adding a runway will only allow it to increase its passenger handling ceiling to 65 million a year.

“Two presidential terms lang yan, baka ma-hit na yang maximum 65 million, at the rate air travel is growing. Kailangan talaga ng isa pa [We really need another one],” he said.

Recto stressed that the government must now decide whether Naia’s decongestion will be through the expansion of Clark airport in Pampanga, the building of San Miguel Corp.’s aeropolis in Bulacan, or the proposal tendered by the “Taipans’ consortium” to expand Naia.

“I understand that this is not a winner-take-all proposal, but two airports can coexist under the principle of complementarity. Ang dapat pag-usapan natin ang takeoff time ng mga yan, or to use a flight terminology, kelan ba ang ETA – Estimated Time of Arrival, meaning completion, of Bulacan, Clark and Naia,” Recto said. /jpv

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