AIRPORT authorities have uncovered “colorum” flights which contribute to air traffic congestion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Manila International Airport Authority general manager Eddie Monreal revealed this on Wednesday as he outlined plans and programs to address congestion and other concerns at the country’s premier airport.
“We have noticed these colorum airplanes. Those are flights scheduled at night but their airport destinations were not night-rated. What happened was they will take off by midday. So, they were not included in the allocation. They cut in the line of planes taking off and cause more congestion,” said Monreal.
In a resolution, he said, the MIAA, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines and the Civil Aeronautics Board came up with a system to stop the offending airlines, which he refused to identify.
“We have a resolution and we are now monitoring the movements. Once the [airline] has no approved slot, we will not give them counter, parking bay and they will not allow takeoff,” Monreal said.
Late last year, former Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez called on the country’s transport officials to swiftly ease the congestion at the Naia. Romualdez said the air traffic congestion in the premiere airport is a tragedy waiting to happen.
But Monreal said “We’ve been working to address air traffic congestion since I assumed. There were many measures already, and we’ve made plans and measures being implemented.”
“We implemented the rationalization of flight schedules starting September 1. Before, the scheduling spiked, so with the help of airlines and concessionaires we conducted a study,” the MIAA chief said.
“The ideal distribution is about 40 movements per hour. Before there were 50, then 47. So, now we spread the schedule,” he added.
Lawmakers have urged the Department of Transportation, the CAAP, the CAB and the Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) to draw up a master action plan to make Clark an alternative airport.
Former MIAA general manager Angel Jose Honrado admitted that addressing air traffic congestion at the Naia would be a Herculean task because at least 200 flights have been added in four years.
Reports show that during the Asia-Pacific Economic Conference Summit last year, Philippine Airlines lost $18.7 million (more than P880 million) after canceling more than 700 flights, while Cebu Pacific Air incurred a P400-million revenue loss for canceling 847 flights.
Early this year, the CAAP prohibited general aviation operations and aerial works at the Naia on peak hours to “promote safety and efficiency in air transport services.”
Violators face penalties under Republic Act No. 9497 (Civil Aviation Act of 2008) and Executive Order No. 778 series of 1982, as amended, which created MIAA.