PEZA, CAAP to develop unutilized airports into aviation ecozones

The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) has partnered with the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) for the establishment of aerotropolis ecozones and aerotropolis-linked ecozones in the country.

PEZA Director General Charito Plaza and CAAP Director General Capt. Jim Sydiongco inked a Memorandum of Understanding for the utilization of CAAP’s idle lands to become Aerotropolis ecozones and/or Aerotropolis-linked ecozones. (Photo from PEZA)

PEZA Director General Charito Plaza and CAAP Director General Jim Sydiongco signed on Wednesday, Feb. 2, the memorandum of understanding to utilize CAAP's idle and unproductive lands as ecozones.

According to the two agencies, the move is part of their commitment and efforts to help the economy bounce back from the pandemic by attracting more investments in the country.

"We are grateful for CAAP’s cooperation with PEZA to be innovative in harnessing one of the factors of investments—the air transportation facility and processes in the country—in order to maintain the competitiveness of Philippines and our brand as the investment destination or haven in Asia," Plaza said.

"As we all may know, efficient connectivity through established infrastructures for transportation and logistics facility by air, land, and sea are crucial factor for ease of doing business and lesser cost of doing business. Without it, we cannot build linkages and delivery and exchange of goods and services," she added.

Under the memorandum, PEZA and CAAP will jointly promote the establishment of these ecozones to attract investments in aviation industry-related manufacturing industries, logistics services and maintenance, repair and operations, including, but not limited to, emerging companies involved in renewable energy technologies and food terminal hubs.

Both parties may likewise explore opportunities for joint venture operation of economic zones or through a Public-Private Partnership scheme and to train world-class workers specifically for airline industries so that there is a ready supply of ecozone workers needed for that industry.

"Despite the challenges we face, it is a must that we continue to create opportunities to cope with the fast-changing times. The Philippines has a lot to offer but it is also high time for us to develop our idle lands and attract companies that will spearhead the technology transfer, opening doors for more opportunities for Filipinos in the aviation industry-related sectors and services," the PEZA chief said.

PEZA has been developing more ecozones under its Transformation Road Map in line with President Duterte's call to accelerate rural progress in the countryside.