MANILA To ease airport congestion, President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday has ordered the transfer of domestic flights from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to Sangley Air Base in Cavite.
The President directed the operations in Sangley Point to start immediately, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
Panelo said the suggestion to transfer domestic flights to Sangley Air Base was presented by Transportation Arthur Tugade during Monday night's Cabinet meeting.
Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade raised some operational concerns. To ease congestion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the plan to transfer general aviation or domestic flights to Sangley Air Base, Panelo said.
In a Palace briefing, Panelo bared that the President wants the Sangley Airbase in Cavite to accommodate domestic flights by November.
He said this is a month earlier than Tugade's target to transfer the domestic flights from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to Sangley Airbase by December.
Panelo said Tugade had already initiated the testing of ferries that can operate from Mall of Asia (MOA) in Pasay City to Sangley within 18 to 24 minutes.
He said Duterte wanted airport security to be handled by a single entity, either from the military or civilian force to ensure passengers' safety.
Tugade will be drafting an executive order (EO) for the President's consideration, Panelo said.
Duterte ordered the transfer of domestic flights to Sangley Air Base after making a surprise inspection at the NAIA Terminal 2 early Monday morning where he was dismayed over flight cancellations and delays.
He asked Tugade's agency to solve the problem in the long term and promised passengers for the government to come up with a remedy within a month.
Despite these latest airport woes, Panelo said Duterte has yet to announce any intention of sacking any airport officials.
Sangley Airbase or the Danilo Atienza Air Base in Sangley Point, Cavite used to be a US naval station base until it was turned over to the Philippine Navy and Air Force in 1971. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency