New airport near NAIA potentially unsafe

September 25, 2018

Philippines AirAsia, Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer Capt. Dexter Comendador said that developing another airport in the vicinity of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and several other airports in the country will pose added risk to aircraft in flight.

In a public forum hosted by the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) on the air transport industry Monday, Comendador said there are already “near-misses in flight” with four major airports operating in these neighboring regions, which include NAIA in Metro Manila, Subic Bay International Airport in Bataan, Clark International Airport and Cesar Basa Air Base in Pampanga.

The Philippines AirAsia chief, who is also a pilot, noted that building a fifth major airport will be a “havoc in terms of safety”.

“Because at the moment, there are already [four] major airports in Luzon that are close together within that terminal area of 60 nautical miles,” Comendador said.

“Building a fifth one, in the middle of the four major airports will create havoc in terms of safety,” he added. “With the fifth one, I hope we don’t see planes hitting each other on top.”

The executive welcomes the initiative of the government to build more airports, however, this should be planned carefully.

Last April, the government  approved the unsolicited proposal of San Miguel Holdings Corp. to build the Bulacan International Airport to help in decongesting NAIA.

“I was quite apprehensive on the last Senate hearing, wherein it was decided or there was a tendency for government to say ‘Yes’ in building all the airports around Manila,” he said.