THE Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) is calling on the government to come up with an airport policy and a masterplan for the aviation sector to address issues of connectivity and congestion, regional development and sustainable growth.
PCCI said on Tuesday the Philippines, though located within four hours flying time from major capitals of the Asia-Pacific region, has been unable to capitalize on its strategic location and achieve international gateway status.
Its aviation sector, PCCI said, is suffering from problems such as insufficient investments in airport terminals, runways and communications facilities, and lack of facilities that have not only disrupted operations and compromised aviation safety but also limited capacity of major gateways to expand and accommodate more flights.
For the same reasons, the country continues to lose out on the growing international tourism market to
neighboring countries, PCCI added.
The chamber, which has consistently called on government to come up with a masterplan on transportation and logistics, echoed the call to immediately consider the proposal to adopt a dual-airport policy that will build the New Metro Manila International Airport for Metro Manila and South Luzon, and expand the Clark Airport for Metro Clark and Northern Luzon.
With the administration encouraging the dispersal of investments, manufacturing and tourism to the countryside, PCCI asked government to evaluate the proposal for a twin-airport system.
Such strategy will also support the sustained growth of the Metro Manila area while easing urban congestion issues, it said.
With unsolicited proposals coming from the private sector, it would be good for government to ensure that decisions and the bidding process are done with full transparency, it added.