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Still the world’s worst airport

It’s a shame that we continue to bear with the failures of the previous administrations, particularly those of Noynoy Aquino whose cronies left the transport sector a total mess.

This was starkly demonstrated during the Holy Week when travelers literally looked like they were performing the traditional “penitencia” at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Pasay City, having to bear with the agony of waiting for delayed flights.

The truth is that the state of calamity at NAIA has persisted long enough, and concerned authorities have only the previous administration to blame.

Just like in the case of the distressed Metro Rail Transit Line 3 along EDSA, all the credit for the mess at NAIA goes to the inept and corruption-ridden Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC).

Thanks to former transport secretaries Mar Roxas and Jun Abaya, our airport blues continue and, as Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) chief Ed Monreal was quoted as saying, the ordeal will not be over any time soon.

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Art Tugade, along with Monreal, concede that the NAIA air traffic congestion and crowding are the “new normal” state of affairs at the country’s main gateway.

But blaming the failures, blunders and plunderers in the previous administration for our continuing hardship at NAIA is simply unacceptable as an excuse. Government officials get VIP treatment at the airports unlike the general public who looks more like displaced “bakwets” from war, littered at NAIA’s walkways.

For heaven’s sake, midway through the Duterte administration, we are still hoping against hope that these officials show a semblance of decisiveness and a sense of urgency in resolving NAIA’s perennial troubles.

As a chain reaction, travelers experience the same aggravation at the secondary airports outside Metro Manila like Clark, Cebu, Laguindingan, Kalibo, Iloilo and Davao international airports. Let me tell you, it is not at all fun for tourists waiting for flights delayed for two or more hours longer than the actual travel time to and from Metro Manila.

What solutions has Secretary Tugade’s team actually come up with since the catastrophic ditching of a Xiamen Air plane at NAIA’s one of only two runways last August?

Since then, the gridlock at NAIA has continued day in and day out. Actually, there nothing new since NAIA earned the title "the Worst Airport in the World."

Perhaps, Sec. Tugade’s team could muster a bit of creativity to be able to mitigate the punishing delay and chaos at NAIA and domestic airports affected by the late turnaround flights.

What ever happened to the proposal to develop Sangley Point in Tanza, Cavite into a domestic Airport, which can serve part of over 100 daily domestic flights from NAIA?

Sec. Tugade and Co. may be counting on the proposed Bulacan international airport as alternate to NAIA but which might take beyond the Duterte term to complete.

Will NAIA continue to be the “world’s worst airport” until then?

You see, Mar Roxas must be really out of it not to realize “marami siyang hindi nagawa.” I’m sure transport czar Tugade is smart enough to assure us he wouldn’t leave the same legacy of ineptitude as Roxas did.

Topics: Erwin Tulfo , Ninoy Aquino International Airport , NAIA , world’s worst airport , Metro Rail Transit Line 3 , Department of Transportation , DOTr Secretary Art Tugade
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