Transport Secretary: Rationalize NAIA terminal use in relation to Clark

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  • Tugade: Sort out which NAIA terminals can accommodate domestic, international flights
  • Mactan Airport Terminal 2 open by July
  • Panglao, Bohol airport to be commercially operational by August
  • Lal-lo, Cagayan airport opening targeted for March
  • MIASCOR to wrap ground handling services by April 19

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 26) — Rationalize the use of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) terminals when it comes to domestic and international flights, Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade said on Monday.

"(I) will affirm the need to really rationalize the terminal and airport usages of Terminal 1, 2, 3 and 4 in relation to Clark," Tugade told CNN Philippines' The Source.

The secretary added that only Terminals 1 and 3 were designed to handle international flights, while Terminals 2 and 4 were built for domestic flights.

"Ang nangyayari po ngayon is nagkakajumble, nagkaka-mix up," said Tugade. "Ang habol (po) ng ating Speaker of the House is to put order, fluidity and efficiency in Terminals 1, 2, 3 and 4. Ang sabi niya, ibalik sa dating konsepto."

"Yung hindi matatanganan (na flights) doon sa Terminals 1, 2, 3 and 4, ilipat po sa Clark," he added.

[Translation: What's happening now is there was a jumble, a mix-up. What the Speaker wants... is to put order, fluidity, and efficiency in Terminals 1, 2, 3 and 4. He says, bring back the old concept. Move (flights) that can't be accommodated in Terminals 1, 2, 3 and 4 to Clark.]

Clark International Airport is in Pampanga province, north of Manila.

Earlier this month, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez threatened to cancel the franchise of airline company Cebu Pacific if it did not move some flights to Clark. He also said the Manila International Airport Authority should decongest NAIA within 45 days.

Related: House Speaker threatens to cancel CebuPac franchise

While Tugade was in agreement with Alvarez, he said 45 days might not be enough to make the necessary transfers.

"We are on a talking mode now with Cebu Pacific and the other carriers to find out if 45 days is a realistic time," he said.

New airports

Meanwhile, Tugade also announced plans for new airport terminals within the year.

Some target dates include opening Cagayan North International Airport in Lal-lo, Cagayan by March and Terminal 2 of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport by July.

A new airport in Panglao, Bohol is also expected to be completed by June and commercially operational by August, said Tugade.

The Transportation Department is also finalizing carriers that could operate in a new airport in San Vincente, Palawan.

MIASCOR out by April

Tugade also said MIASCOR Aviation Services will no longer be doing ground handling by April 19. He added it was an "immoveable date."

President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the termination of the contract between Manila International Airport Authority and MIASCOR in January, following a case of viral case of theft traced to MIASCOR personnel.

Related: Duterte wants termination of contract with airport service provider MIASCOR

The secretary said other ground handling service providers would be ready to absorb some employees.

"Ang may problema diyan yung empleyadong may problema. Mahihirapan silang pumasok [Problematic employees might have a hard time getting in]," said Tugade. "Pero yung mga quality [But for quality (employees)], I don't think there will be a major issue."