Upgrades needed: MAP nixes calls to shut down NAIA

Closing the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) instead of improving capacity would mean added burden to air passengers.

The Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) has spoken up to call for upgrades to the country’s biggest airport ASAP, following its paralysis over the weekend following a mishap with Xiamen Airlines.

Thousands of passengers were left stranded from Aug. 17-19 after one of the main runways were closed after a Chinese plane blocked the space.

“We strongly object to the closing of NAIA ? which we consider as a very drastic and counter-productive move. NAIA is a strategically located air gateway supported by a road system already in place and with proximately located rail and future subway lines to serve the needs of air travellers in Mega Manila and southern Luzon,” the business group said in a statement.

Instead, MAP wants authorities to develop and link NAIA with the Clark International Airport for maximum convenience.

“The MAP urges the adoption of an airport complementation strategy whereby the existing NAIA and Clark international airports are developed and operated as an integrated system with the two airports complementing each other, ideally with an express rail link in place,” they added.

“Under this dual airport system, NAIA should be upgraded expeditiously, preferably undertaken by the private sector, including a possible close-in parallel runway for emergencies, such as the recent closure of the main runway. The upgrade should realize the optimal safe capacity of NAIA.”