Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte wants an alternative airport south of the capital to be operational by November in a bid to decongest the country’s main international airport, once voted as the worst in the world.
Duterte directed transportation and airport officials to fast-track the plan to open the airport in Sangley Point, a naval station and airbase in nearby Cavite province, for domestic flights or general aviation, presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said yesterday.
“The target date was December, but the president said that was too far away and that is should be November,” he told reporters.
Duterte discussed the new timetable during a cabinet meeting on Monday after he inspected one of the terminals at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport following reports of multiple flight delays or cancellations.
The president “expressed his dismay” over what he saw during the unscheduled inspection and hinted that he would revamp the management at the airport, Panelo said. Over the weekend, dozens of flights were delayed or cancelled due to a technical glitch caused by lightning during a thunderstorm.
Thousands of passengers were stranded at the airport.
The Manila airport was once rated as the worst airport in the world in an online survey by the website Sleeping in Airports.
Its ranking has since improved, but it was still among the top 10 worst airports for a layover in 2017.
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