DOTr warns airliners of stiffer sanctions for airport slot misuse
Robie de Guzman • June 20, 2019 • 1563
MANILA, Philippines – Airline operators at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) who misuse their slots will face stiffer sanctions, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said on Thursday.
In a statement posted on Facebook, the DOTr said this is following the signing of Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 2019-01 by Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA General Manager Ed Monreal, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Director General Jim Sydiongco and Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) Executive Director Carmelo Arcilla.
The circular was noted by DOTr Undersecretary for Aviation and Airports Manuel Antonio Tamayo.
The DOTr said the JMC 2019-01 aims for the efficient utilization of airport slots to help decongest NAIA.
Under the circular, the definition of slot misuse has been expanded to cover the holding of slots that the airline does not intend to operate, as well as the holding of slots for an operation other than planned for the purpose of denying capacity to another aircraft operator.
“Also constituting slot misuse are the requisition of new slots that the airline does not intend to operate, and the requisition of slots for an operation other than indicated with the intention of gaining improved priority,” the statement read.
The DOTr said that under the circular, the Timeslot Committee (TC) will review the slot coordinator’s findings of the slot monitoring performance of airlines.
A disciplinary action will be initiated by the slot coordinator against an airline that intentionally misuses its allocated slots.
The agency said an airline that operates services without the corresponding timeslots, on a regular basis, will not be entitled to historical precedence for either the actual times they operated or for the allocated times.
The DOTr further said that an airline that continues to misuse or inefficiently use timeslots may be relegated to a lower priority in future slot allocations.
“If an airline, despite being sanctioned, continues to misuse or inefficiently use timeslots, the TC shall have the authority to recall slot approval and/or suspend or cancel slot allocations of the erring airline,” the DOTr said.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade commended MIAA, CAAP and CAB on the issuance of the JMC, noting that it is high time for airlines to take responsibility.
“Landing on an airport is a privilege. To intentionally disregard the value of these airport slots is unethical, and an aggravation to the current state of congestion at NAIA. We have to recognize the domino effects of these slot misuses, which ultimately result in the massive inconvenience to our air passengers,” Tugade said.
The DOTr said in the recent years a substantial increase in the number of passengers, flights, and airport slots per hour at the NAIA, resulting in a compounded state of congestion.
Before 2016, NAIA passenger traffic stood at 36.5 million. The figure swelled to 45 million, or an increase of 8.4 million passengers or 23.08%, by 2018, according to the DOTr.
During the same period, the number of flights also grew by over 14,000 (5.75%). Consequently, airport slots per hour increased by 22.2% from 36 to 44.
JMC 2019-01 is an expansion of the scope of efficient use of slots under JMC 2016-01 signed by the same agencies in July 2016 to ease airline congestion at the four terminals of NAIA.
The United States Department of Homeland Security (US-DHS) has lifted the public notice on security conditions at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
On Thursday (Aug 8), the US-DHS has released a statement saying the Philippines has made significant improvements at the NAIA.
Based on the statement, the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) and various civil aviation security authorities have demonstrated their willingness to work towards sustaining the improvements.
United States Ambassador Sung Kim also congratulated Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur ahead of the official advisory.
Tugade is grateful for the efforts of MIAA, the Office for Transportation Security (OTS), as well as other civil aviation security groups in NAIA.
“While we are happy with this news, we must remember that the more important thing is that we sustain and consistently improve our efforts to ensure the safety and security of the passengers,” he said.
Last December 2018, the US-DHS has issued a public notice due to NAIA’s “failure to adequately implement and maintain international security standards”.—AAC
MANILA, Philippines — Another party-list congressmanhas been involved in a controversy, this time, for making a ‘bombjoke’ at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on Thursday.
Local media reported earlier that Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives (APEC) party-list Representative Sergio Dagooc was briefly held by members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Aviation Security Group when he told airport inspectors his baggage contained a “bomb.”
Dagooc made the remark after Aviation police asked about the contents of his luggage, which exceeded the allowable 11 kilograms.
Based on the report of the PNP-Aviation Station 2, they immediately arrested Dagooc and prevented him from boarding the flight for violating the Presidential Decree 1727 or the anti-bomb joke law.
He was later released from custody and allowed to take the flight after his lawyer insisted that Dagooc can’t be arrested under Article 6 Section 11 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution which states that, “A Senator or member of the House of Representatives shall, be in all offenses punishable by not more than six years imprisonment, be privileged from arrest while the Congress is in Session.”
A “bomb joke” is a crime which carries a penalty of five years of imprisonment and a fine of P40,000.
According to House Minority Leader Bienvenido “Benny” Abante, the incident should be investigated by the House Committee on Ethics since this is the second time that a party-list solon was embroiled in a controversy.
Earlier this month, Ang Probinsiyano party-list Representative Alfred delos Santos issued a public apology after punching a service crew in a restaurant in Albay.
“Sana wala tayong congressman that will down the house of congress into the level of gangsterism,” Abante said.
The House leadership has yet to determine who will head the Ethics committee.
The lawmaker said that congressmen who cannot conduct themselves with decorum should just step down from office.
“If you do not know how to conduct yourself with the decorum and proper its good for you to resign as a congressman,” he said.
Congressman Dagooc has yet to issue a statement on the matter. (with details from Grace Casin)
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