Quickest solution is to build new runway—CIAC

THE BUILDING of a new secondary parallel runway at Clark may be the immediate solution to absorb the adverse impact of emergency incidents at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, an executive of the Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) said on Wednesday after a public hearing conducted by the House Committee on Transportation on the Xiamen incident in Manila’s airport last month that affected close to 200,000 passengers.

“Clark needs a new secondary parallel runway positioned to allow simultaneous take-offs and landings to easily decongest the overcrowded NAIA pending the construction of proposed airports either in Bulacan or in Cavite,” Alexander Cauguiran, CIAC president, said.

“This (new runway) has been my longtime proposition, a quick answer to address runway congestion or closure in Manila especially in times of emergencies. This will hugely augment the ongoing construction of Clark’s Terminal 2 with 8 to 10 million annual passenger capacity,” Cauguiran added.

Cauguiran said committee chairman Rep. Cesar Sarmiento of Catanduanes “supported in principle” the proposed building of a new runway at Clark.

“Even the deputy speaker committed to assist us in seeking budget appropriation,” the CIAC chief said, referring to Rep. Prospero Pichay of Surigao del Sur, who asked resource persons during the hearing on the estimated cost of building a new runway.

Based on CIAC studies, a new secondary parallel runway will cost the government around P2.5 billion, including navigational aids and equipment.

The meeting zeroed in on the massive displacement of flights and passengers caused by the excursion of the Xiamen aircraft at NAIA’s runway 0624 last August 17 reportedly due to inclement weather.

A total of 43 flights were diverted to Clark because of the stalled aircraft in NAIA.