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‘Mr. Clark’ is at it again

Dec 4, 2015 @ 17:04

Pampanga 1st District Rep. Joseller “Yeng” Guiao just won’t stop promoting the Clark International Airport (CIA) in Pampanga.

Guiao, dubbed “Mr. Clark’ in the House of Representatives, has challenged the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) to require airlines to establish regular flights at the CIA.

This, he said, should be the condition before the airline companies are given CAB permits for regular landing rights at the already congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

“CAB is in charge of operation of our aviation industry. It said airlines can’t be compelled to have regular flights at Clark since the airlines make decisions based on business aspect and that there aren’t enough passengers (at Clark),” Guiao was quoted in a report in Punto! Central Luzon.

The Pampanga lawmaker issued the challenge to CAB officials during the House committee on Transportation hearing that looked into the cancellation of hundreds of flights during the last Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.

Guiao stressed CAB should have the political will to mandate airlines to also have regular flights at Clark as condition for granting landing rights at NAIA.

“Of course CAB has power to mandate (airlines). In the airline industry, there are so-called missionary routes which were initially not profitable for airlines but later turned out to be viable business-wise,” he pointed out.

He noted that some years ago, such policy was imposed on the Philippine Airlines which was told to establish one flight to Batanes as condition for being given five flight rights to Cebu.

Guiao explained that once the missionary flight becomes profitable, the airline is given the “right of first refusal” to grant other airlines such flight route.

This will entitle the pioneering airline to exclusivity for the next five years, he added.

“CAB can adopt the same policy at Clark. If an airline wants 10 flights at NAIA, the CAB can impose that three of these flights be at Clark instead,” Guiao said.

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