MANILA Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Thursday urged the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to study carefully the transfer of commercial flights to Sangley airport in Cavite.
Gatchalian said he shares the reservations aired by Philippine Airlines and AirAsia in transferring their commercial flights to Sangley without a detailed study on the impact of such a transfer on both domestic and international air passengers.
The government plans to use the Sangley airport for general aviation and domestic flights to help decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
"Kailangan muna ng masusing pag-aaral bago gumawa ng malawakang paglipat dahil baka mahirapan ang ating mga pasahero, lalo na 'yong mga may hinahabol na transfer flights sa ibang terminals ng NAIA (A thorough study should be conducted first on the transfer of flights [to Sangley] as it may affect passengers, especially those who have to catch their connecting flights from other NAIA terminals)," Gatchalian said in a statement.
The senator, however, lauded the plan of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade to fast-track the construction of the Sangley airport as a "welcome development" considering that this has been "long overdue."
"Upon completion of the airport, general aviation should be transferred there as soon as possible all private planes and helicopters should operate in Sangley to help decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport," Gatchalian said.
Earlier this month, President Rodrigo Duterte directed the operations in Sangley to start immediately. The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is now working 24/7 on its construction.
Tugade, however, said Sangley alone could not address the congestion at NAIA, noting that "a basket of solutions" is needed.
Among these solutions include the development of NAIA's facilities, development of Clark Airport and other airports outside Metro Manila, Tugade said.
The transportation chief targets more domestic airports to be night-rated, which means the airports would be equipped with night-rating facilities, so they could accommodate flights even after sunset. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency