By Hannah Torregoza
Sen. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito on Sunday urged transportation officials to consider creating a “twin airport” system ensconced between Clark International Airport and the Ninoy Aquino International Airports (NAIA) to resolve the air traffic congestion in the runways.
Ejercito made the remark following the Xiamen plane mishap before midnight on Thursday that caused the temporary closure of the NAIA runway and delayed the flights of many airline passengers.
As of now, the senator said he believes that a “twin airport system” similar to Japan be adopted for the convenience of the airline passengers.
“The accident at NAIA is already a signal for a new airport to be built. The single international runway will not really work anymore,” Ejercito said in a text message to reporters.
“At this point the quickest solution for Manila’s airport problems is to have a twin airport system between Clark and NAIA, just like Haneda and Narita in Tokyo,” Ejercito stressed.
Ejercito said the government has to decide now where to build this airport noting that the two past administrations have already passed but they have not made any progress in making any improvements on the airport runways.
The senator likewise said the incident also highlighted the need to fast track the rehabilitation of Philippine National Railway (PNR) north rail line to Clark and the construction of the P12-billion terminal building.
“Need to fast track PNR north rail line to Clark and the construction of the P12-billion terminal building. Kaya I’ve been consistent in pushing both the railways and the Clark Airport,” he said.
“Alam na natin ang problema, di pa ginawa ng dalawang administrasyon,” he said referring to the administrations of then President and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and former President Benigno Aquino III.
Late last week, Xiamen Air Flight MF8667 skidded off the runway at the NAIA amid the heavy downpour of rain. Fortunately, all 157 and eight crew members were reportedly safe.
The accident has caused several airlines to divert some flights to the Clark International Airport and some of them had flight cancellations.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade and Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) have apologized over the incident.