By Charissa M. Luci-Atienza
Even as he described as a “nightmare” the Xiamen plane mishap that resulted in the delay and cancellation of hundreds of flights, the chairman of the House Committee on Transportation cited yesterday the need to create another airport outside Metro Manila to complement and decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
Catanduanes Rep. Cesar Sarmiento also expressed disappointment over the airport authorities’ handling of the incident, which could have been avoided.
“This could have been prevented kung ang NAIA and other airports authorities, particularly the DOTr, could have anticipated this particular incident. Yong mga skidding naman eh nangyayari naman yan even in the past or even in other jurisdictions. But don sa pagdating ng ganitong sitwasyon, immediate dapat ang response ng ating authorities para maiwasan,” he said in a radio interview.
He said it is “imperative” to conduct an investigation to ensure that such “nightmare” will not happen again.
“Dapat magkakaroon ng imbestigasyon para malaman kung bakit nangyari yon. But we have to look forward. It’s really an eye opener for the airport authorities na sana po hindi na mangyayari ito dahil malaking abala at aberya ang ibinigay nito sa ating mga kababayan,” Sarmiento said.
He noted that during their committee deliberations, there was unsolicited proposal to build an airport outside Metro Manila as well as increase the capacity of NAIA.
“May personal take on that is this, even if we increase the capacity ng naia we will still encounter the same problem. Not necessarily on capacity but going in and out of NAIA. So ang pinaka practical na idea d’yan ay to move out. Create another airport para it will bring convenience and comfort and avoid traffic in metro manila,” the House leader said.
“So tulad ng ibang airport sa ibang bansa, napakalayo sa sentro. Halimbawa ‘yong Incheon, and even sa Japan, it will take you one hour or one and a half hours going to the city. So ganon po ang trend. Unlike in our place ay talagang nasa sentro po ng syudad,” he pointed out.
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