The Department of Tourism recognizes the importance of developing domestic airports in improving competitiveness and enhancing sustainable growth both in tourism and trade. It is also highlighted that the airports are not just gateways but more of economic growth drivers. This objective is included in the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP).
During the 4th Annual Philippine Airport Modernization and Expansion Summit, DOT Undersecretary Arturo Boncato, Jr. shared that the tourism sector generated more than 5 million employment and 12.2% contribution to GDP in 2017. Initial data shows that there are about $ 8 billion income generated from tourist arrivals in 2018.
The development of secondary gateways and provincial airports is one of the advocacies of the Export Development Council. By doing so, congestion in the capital, especially in the immediate and medium term, will be reduced, which in turn will mean lower travel cost for passengers.
To date, there are only 19 night-rated airports in the country. According to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), the additional airports with Airfield Lighting System (ALS) are the following: Bohol/ Panglao Principal Airport, Subic Bay International Airport, Tuguegarao Principal Airport, and Naga Principal Airport.
The airports to be provided with ALS this year (2019) and currently being processed are the following: Cotabato Principal Airport, Cauayan Principal Airport, Dipolog Principal Airport and Pagadian Principal Airport.
The other recommendations for the domestic airport development are: (1) Modernizing the infrastructure and facilities of the domestic airports to accommodate direct flights to the major gateway of the Philippines, (2) Funding prioritization for the upgrading of domestic airports to provided night-landing and all-weather facilities for a more efficient operation and to emphasize safety improvements to meet International Civil Aviation Organization Standards And Recommended Practices (ICAO SARPS), (3) Development of airports through Public-Private Partnership, and (4) Development of a coherent long-term investment plan for the airports.
CAAP assured of its continuous work to make more airports in the country night-rated. Equipping airports with night-rated capabilities will enable these facilities to serve more passengers. MJAA