THE first Philippine Aviation Day, put together by the Air Carriers Association of the Philippines (ACAP), gathered key aviation stakeholders who saw the opportunity for local aviation to gain from the ongoing regional air travel boom.

At the summit’s conclusion, ACAP member airlines passed two key resolutions. ACAP pledged to work in partnership with Philippine government agencies and concerned stakeholders for the advancement of Philippine civil aviation and endorsed the urgent recommendations adopted recently by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) calling for Asia/Pacific governments to invest in aviation infrastructure and air traffic management systems “to meet the projected growth in demand for air transport” and “to avoid unnecessary congestion, delays and inconvenience to the traveling public”; to refrain from increasing the taxation burden on airlines and “avoid unjustified or discriminatory taxes” affecting aviation; to strengthen multilateral cooperation on aviation security and coordinate with all stakeholders before implementing new border control measures; and to support the CORSIA (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation) measures to control aviation emissions.

AAPA issued these recommendations during its assembly of presidents meeting last Oct. 25.

ACAP charter chairman and Philippine Airlines president Jaime J. Bautista said the air transport sector makes a major impact on the local economy.

“Local air travel continues to connect people around the world while providing ease of travel and cost competitiveness.”

While ACAP members - Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, PAL Express, CEBGo, Philippines AirAsia – are rival airlines, “we compete aggressively in a healthy contest where there can be only one winner: the flying public. The result is one of the fastest growing and most dynamic domestic aviation networks in the world,” he added.

The ACAP carriers recognize that the local air travel industry faces serious challenges. “We no longer enjoy the benefits of low fuel prices. Our ability to grow and generate revenues and jobs for the country continues to be susceptible to the fallout from external events, political turbulence, global terrorism and burdensome regulations,” said Bautista. “We wrestle with infrastructure limitations, starting with serious limitations of our primary airport in Manila, and constraints in airports north and south of the capital.”

ACAP is seeking the support of government to provide a regulatory environment that gives airlines the flexibility and latitude needed to do business and respond to market conditions. (PR)