Cabinet to discuss airport authority

The Philippine government, through the Cabinet, will discuss next month the proposed creation of a body that will manage the Davao International Airport.

At the weekly Wednesdays@Habi at Kape – Abreeza yesterday, Secretary Abul Khayr D. Alonto, chair of the Mindanao Development Authority, said: “We will also push for the immediate approval for that Davao International Airport Authority.”

He said the rehabilitation and expansion of key airports in Mindanao is important for its connectivity which in turn is very important in growing its economy.

The business sector has been pushing for the establishment of the body that will operate the airport, similar to the ones set up for the Mactan International Airport and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Arturo M. Milan, president of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said at the same forum that the establishment of the authority will allow the airport to become autonomous.

It will not become dependent on the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) to plan for its operations and expansions.

Shooting down the argument that allowing the city airport to become independent, Milan added that without it under CAAP will provide the agency more legroom in making the other airports efficient and profitable.

Being among the earning airports of the country, he said this should become an incentive for the airport to become autonomous so that it can grow. “(Its) earning capacity should be an encouragement to stand on its own,” he added.

He said that the city airport should be used to subsidize the other airports because “that is the role of government (which sets aside budget for CAAP for the purpose.”

“You should not penalize an airport that is efficient in making money; you deprive them of their growth and modernization,” he said.
A congressional proposal for the creation of the airport authority for the city airport has been pending since the 2000s.

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