Thursday, 14 June 2012 11:32
Members of the City Council yesterday expressed shock when Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) general manager Celso Bayabos faulted the past members of the august body for its opposition in the transfer of the airport’s terminal building to Gov. Ramos in barangay Sta. Maria which could have paved the way for the eventual transfer of the facilities to Mercedes-Talabaan.
Bayabos was invited by the City Council to appear in the regular session yesterday to shed light on many aspects of the Zamboanga International Airport (ZIA) such as the parking area, terminal fees and other matters concerning the landing facilities.
The airport manager blamed the 1996 legislators who opposed and even insulted officials of the Asian Development Bank who appealed to the aldermen to support the transfer of the airport terminal building first to Sta. Maria to pave the way for the conduct of a feasibility study to look for the best and suitable site wherein which to transfer the whole ZIA facilities.
Bayabos said because of the opposition, the ADB instead appropriated and transferred the huge funds for the development of the modern Davao City Airport.
He said, at present, the airport is up for sale to the tune of P12 billion to interested buyers. The airport head hopes the proposal to build the P10 billion airport next year in Mercedes-Talabaan will be realized however, he said this will depend on President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino and Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Mar Roxas if they will give the go-ahead signal for the project to commence.
Bayabos also announced the forthcoming public hearing scheduled June 21, 2012 at the Marcian Hotel that will tackle on the increase of the terminal fee from P40 to P150 they are seeking to collect from departing passengers.
The airport manager stressed the need to increase the terminal fee to help defray operational expenses of the airport.
by: Nonong Santiago
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