TO improve air travel and help decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the government is now rushing the upgrading of eight airports across the country to enable them to operate after sunset.
Citing a Department of Transportation (DOTr) report to Congress, Campos said the airports in the cities of Naga (in Camarines Sur, not in Cebu), Tuguegarao, Cauayan, Dumaguete, Dipolog, Cotabato, Pagadian and Ozamiz are now undergoing rehabilitation and expansion, mostly consisting of widening of runway and terminal upgrades, for night landing capabilities.
Several domestic flights departing Manila are being crammed during the daytime because of the inability of many provincial airports to receive flights at night. This has somewhat contributed to the jamming of the NAIA, which has only two runways handling both international and domestic flights.
The lawmaker said provincial airports unable to operate at night also have to send out all their Manila-bound flights during the day.
At present only 19 of the country’s 42 airports are able to receive and dispatch night flights. The 19 will increase to 27 once the eight airports have been set up for round-the-clock operations.
There’s no question air travel around the country will be easier for everybody, including foreign tourists, once we get all our airports running at night to maximize their operations.
Meanwhile, government has set aside total of P10.1 billion in fresh funding to modernize the infrastructures of 40 airports in 2018.
Thirteen other smaller airports across the country would also get a combined P262.61 million.--Rep. Luis N. Campos Jr., Makati City