EDITORIAL| For better airport

SOMEBODY must have sat on the proposal to create a body that will run the Davao International Airport as it has been in backburner of Congress since the start of the operations of the new airport took place in December 2003.

This is because all sectors in the city, be them the business or government agencies, have pushed for the creation of the body that will operate it so that it can be independent from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) just like the major airports in the country.

Although the CAAP has not released the latest figures, in 2013, the projection was that the annual traffic would hit close to about three million even when at that time there were still fewer flights compared with the present time.

Now, airline companies are trying to outdo one another in providing new services as they realize the profitability of using the airport for their flights.

One obvious reason for the refusal of Congress to create the body is that some people think making it independent would stop it from being a milking cow of some people. One must consider that, based on CAAP data, the airport generates at least P500 million in annual revenue, although the amount may have grown tremendously because it was based in what were recorded ago five years ago when airline companies were still reluctant in increasing their services.

The revenue that it generates does not go to its coffers, but the large part is being used to subsidize smaller airports whose flights are often missionary. Although there is nothing wrong with this in the point of view of government, the sad part is that the airport that generates the money cannot even maintain for its upkeep that even Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade noted that rodents roam around and comfort rooms stink.

The seeming refusal of some interested parties to allow the creation of the body to manage the airport reeks of injustice not just to the riding public, but also to the city. The airport cannot offer the services that its clients are paying for, making it hard for the facility to continue luring more clients to use and, in turn, increase its revenue.

It is about time that those using the airport are provided of services worth their money.

Posted in Opinion