NEDA-XI bats for creation of Davao International Airport Authority

Subscribe Now June 20, 2013 at 07:48am

The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA-XI) has recommended support for the immediate passage of House Bill 6693, an Act creating the Davao International Airport Authority (DIAA) to administer and operate the F. Bangoy International Airport (FBIA).

NEDA-XI, secretariat to the Regional Development Council (RDC-XI), said establishing the DIAA would redound to a more efficient and competitive administration and management of the Davao International Airport (DIA).

Strengthening the role of DIA as the transportation and logistics hub in Mindanao has also been espoused in the current development and physical framework plans of the Davao Region, said acting RDC-XI Secretary Miguel Herrera.

Herrera raised the recommendation after presenting some specific and general comments gathered from member-agencies of RDC-XI, relative to the provisions in HB 6693 authored by Davao City 2nd district Congresswoman Mylene Garcia-Albano at the 15th Congress.

The comments and recommendations were laid down before members of the RDC-XI’s Development Administration Committee XI during the 2nd quarter meeting on June 11 at the NEDA-XI regional office.

RDC-XI vice chair and NEDA-XI regional director Maria Lourdes Lim said they will ask Congresswoman Garcia-Albano to convene with the RDC-XI to discuss the recommendations, emphasizing that the Bill has to be refined before the opening of the 16th Congress.

On the same meeting, DAC-RDC XI member Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII) representing the private sector, presented a rejoinder reiterating the need to fast track the proposed establishment of DIAA.

The call was part of DCCCII official statement released on June 5, 2013, following the June 2 Davao runway mishap caused by one of Cebu Pacific aircrafts, which according to DCCCII “resulted to loss of million peso economic opportunity for Davao City and its adjacent provinces and cities, being the gateway of Mindanao.”

DCCCII suggested that DIAA should have its own charter and budget, with the mandate to ensure that the airport meets international standards, and that revenues generated by its operations should first and foremost be used for its upkeep and upgrade.

Herrera said RDC-XI has passed various resolutions last year to address observed poor services and facilities at the FBIA which includes the request to the President through the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary to establish the Davao International Airport Authority (Res. No. 66, series of 2012).

Herrera said that the primary concern of the Council is on the improvement of the facilities and services of the FBIA, noting CAAP’s report that most of the equipment are old and need to be replaced, and that facilities need upgrading to internationally acceptable standards.

Another RDC XI resolution (Res. No. 69, series of 2012) recommended to DOTC-Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, the retention of at least 50% of the annual income generated by the FBIA for its regular operations and maintenance, as well as for capital investment.

According to CAAP-XI report, FBIA had earned gross income for the years 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 which amounted to P373M, P395M, P466M and P513M from toll and terminal fees.

“This shows that the airport is really earning,” Herrera commented.

Aside from the income of the FBIA, he said other factors must also be considered in the creation of DIAA such as the frequency/number of daily flights, number of airlines, airport maintenance and operations and compliance with standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Presently, there are about 64 flights daily (inbound and outbound) at FBIA by seven airlines namely: Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Air Philippines, Zest Air, Sea Air, Air Asia and Silk Air – international flights to Singapore (4 times daily), according to CAAP-XI.


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