DOTr eyes two more airports to decongest NAIA

Marje Pelayo   •   August 24, 2018   •   3135

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is prioritizing two airport development projects after assessing what happened in Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) due to the Xiamen runway mishap.

The plan includes building a new airport in Bulacan and developing the Sangley airport in Cavite.

In a statement, DOTr explained that its “airport complementation strategy is aimed at decongesting NAIA, give travelers more options, and spread development across Luzon.”

The proposed projects would accommodate flights from Manila should circumstances such as the runway crash-landing incident requires diversion. That way, DOTr argued, flight delays and cancellations would be avoided.

But these projects remain on paper and no construction has been initiated yet.

For Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) general manager Ed Monreal, flight cancellations could have been prevented if only NAIA had a parallel runway.

The problem, however, is the airport’s limited space, and so having a parallel runway is almost impossible for NAIA.

“Siguro the option now is to develop an airport for the future with a minimum requirement na dalawa po ang runway,” he said.

MIAA has started the transfer of several airlines from NAIA to Clark Airport in Pampanga as a measure to decongest airport. However, the route rationalization scheme is still on its initial phase. — Victor Cosare / Marje Pelayo

Normal operations resume at NAIA after 12-hour closure

Marje Pelayo   •   December 4, 2019

(FILE) Passengers enter Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Passenger Terminal 3 located in a suburban city in Manila, Philippines on 07 February 2013. EPA-EFE/FRANCIS R. MALASIG

MANILA, Philippines – It’s business as usual again at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on Wednesday (December 4) after a 12-hour closure due to the inclement weather brought about by now severe tropical storm Tisoy.

The country’s premier gateway was temporarily closed from 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM on Tuesday which led to cancellations of several international and domestic flights.

Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Ed Monreal reiterates his call on affected passengers to coordinate with their respective airline carriers for rebooking or refunding of tickets.

Unless flight changes are properly coordinated, passengers are advised not to proceed to NAIA to avoid congestion in terminals and to minimize the volume of stranded passengers at the airport. MNP (with inputs from Vincent Arboleda)

DOTr clarifies: PUV Modernization will push through

Marje Pelayo   •   November 21, 2019

(L-R) DOTr Sec. Arthur P. Tugade and a fleet of modernized jeepney units

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) clarified that it is not holding off the implementation of the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).

In a statement released Wednesday (November 20), the agency rectified earlier reports that it has plans to defer the said program following the Senate deliberation on the Department’s P147-billion proposed budget for 2020.

Walang sinabi ang DOTr na hindi nito itutuloy ang pagpapatupad ng PUV Modernization Program, (The DOTr did not say that it is dropping the implementation of the PUV Modernization Program),” the DOTr said in a statement.

The agency explained that what transpired during the Senate deliberation was a condition in case operators of old PUV units fail to modermize their units come July 2020.

“Ang nabanggit ay kung sakali mang mabigo ang mga operator ng mga lumang jeepney na mag-modernize ng kanilang mga unit pagsapit ng Hulyo 2020, pansamantala ay pahihintulutan muna sila ng DOTr na makapamasada sa kondisyong papasa ang kanilang mga lumang unit sa roadworthiness test sa ilalim ng technology-based Motor Vehicle Inspection System (MVIS), na walang human intervention,” the DOTr clarified.

(What was said was, in case operators of old jeepney units fail to modernize their units until July 2020, the DOTr will allow them to operate temporarily with their old units provided that their old units pass the road-worthiness test under the technology-based Motor Vehicle Inspection System (MVIS), without any human intervention.)

If they pass the MVIS, the Department said, “the Land Transportation Franchising & Regulatory Board (LTFRB) will grant them Provisional Authority (PA) valid for one year only, as they need to undergo road worthiness check via MVIS every year as well.”

To secure a PA, PUV operators need to submit a petition for consolidation on or before June 30, 2020 including a petition expressing their intention to join the PUVMP.

If they fail to submit on deadline, the “prior operator rule” will lapse and their franchise will be given to cooperatives who are PUVMP compliant.

“Oras na may PUVMP-compliant na kooperatiba o korporasyon na ang mabigyan ng prangkisa sa rutang tinatakbuhan ng lumang jeepney, automatic na makakansela na ang PA na ibinigay ditto,” the DOTr stressed.

(Once the franchise line is given to PUVMP-compliant cooperative or corporation, the PA granted to old units will be automatically cancelled.)

The DOTr remains firm that the PUVMP, a directive by President Rodrigo Duterte himself, is necessary to ensure the safety of commuters as the modernized jeepney units are equipped with safety features and designs in protection and convenience not just of the commuters but of the drivers as well.

Likewise, the program aims to curb pollution and to improve the income and livelihood of operators and drivers in the country.

NAIA, ready for passenger exodus on “Undas”

Robie de Guzman   •   October 22, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) on Tuesday assured it is ready for the expected influx of passengers in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in the upcoming Undas season.

MIAA general manager Ed Monreal said they are all set for the implementation of the Oplan Biyang Ayos: Undas 2019 of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) starting this week.

The DOTr earlier ordered for the intensified activation of malasakit help desks in all transport hubs across the country for the Undas break.

Monreal said airline companies have agreed in their recent meeting that passengers should be at the NAIA at least three hours before the flight if traveling international, and two hours if traveling domestic.

However, Airlines were not discouraged to impose longer lead time for departure especially for those taking direct flights to America and Australia due to the added security measures now being implemented during check-in.

“When you only have 3-5 passengers who have not checked-in, close your other counters so the next user can opt to use it,” Monreal said in a statement.

He also urged airliners to make use of available counters earlier than the standard occupancy schedule of three hours before departure time.

“As compared to processing your passengers altogether when you open at the appointed time, we can somehow ease the queuing situation at the immigration if you are able to process passengers who are already there waiting ahead of 3 hours,” he said.

The airport chief also suggested to airline companies to process passengers with bags at the check-in counters instead of using kiosks to shorten the boarding procedure.

Monreal also reminded local flight carriers using Terminal 3 to monitor the availability of bus gates to direct passengers where to go.

Use of bus gates is a method of boarding and disembarking where passengers are transported through a bus to and from an aircraft.

Airline companies, on the other hand, assured they have prepared improved plans for Undas and the coming holiday season to hasten the boarding process of passengers, especially in immigration airport booths.

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