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Solon pushes for appointment of an ‘air traffic czar’

THE DEPARTURE area of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 was crowded with passengers at midnight of Jan. 2 after the Philippine air space was shut on Jan. 1 due to technical problems with the air traffic control system. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

A HOUSE minority leader is pushing for more government control of commercial flight operations to decongest the main gateway in Manila by appointing an administrator who will coordinate with airlines.    

“We would urge Malacañang to look for an air traffic czar who can manage commercial flight activity, compel airlines to reschedule flights if necessary, and to oversee the shift to Clark,” 4Ps Party-list Rep. Marcelino C. Libanan said in a statement on Sunday.  

He earlier recommended that government should force airlines to transfer about half of their flights from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila to the Clark International Airport located about 115 kilometers north of the capital.   

He added that the government must provide subsidies for the airlines’ relocation costs.   

“There’s really no point in overloading NAIA with more flights, considering that we have Clark nearby that is four times larger, has unused capacity, and is ready to handle more aircraft and passengers at any given time,” Mr. Libanan said.— Beatriz Marie D. Cruz 

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