Biz sector revives call for creation of DIAA

THE BUSINESS sector has reiterated its proposal for the creation of a body that will operate the Davao International Airport independent from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).

Arturo M. Milan, trustee of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc., said that it is better to have an authority to run the facility because it will be able to ensure that its operations become smooth.

“It is high time that it (management) will be converted into an authority,” said Milan during Wednesdays @ Habi at Kape in Abreeza Mall.

The Davao International Airport Authority (DIAA), Milan said, will result in the autonomy as it can pursue plans for the development of the facility.

He said this mechanism has been successful in other airports like the airport in Cebu, which is now operated by Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority.

The House of Representatives committee discussing the proposal approved last year the proposed law for creation of the DIAA, but it hit a snag.

Those opposing the creation of the authority have blocked the proposal as it is only among the few CAAP-operated airports that are earning as part of its annual income of about P500 million is used to subsidize other smaller airports.

The Department of Transportation already planned to modernize and expand the airport using the national government’s fund or official development assistance.

With DIAA, Second District Rep. Mylene Garcia-Albano, who filed the proposal in the Lower House, said in a statement that the authority as a centralized body will focus on adopting policies to exploit the potential to make it a first-class international airport.

“(DIAA) will also implement new technologies and efficient methodologies to improve its competitiveness so as to provide a safe and more efficient air transport service which is an essential element of any growing economy,” Garcia-Albano said.

The proposal was filed in Congress by Garcia-Albano’s father Manuel Garcia, then her brother Vince during their respective terms.

The proposed authority would be responsible for the repair and maintenance of the airport.

The Davao International Airport, also known as Francisco Bangoy International Airport, currently covers total land area of 217 hectares with terminal floor area of 22,683 square meters and apron area of 74,250 square meters. (By Kristianne M. Fusilero)

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