Monday, January 24, 2011

Pilot schools to be moved out of NAIA

THE CIVIL Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) wants aviation schools to transfer to regional airports to decongest from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
Ramon S. Gutierrez, CAAP officer-in-charge, told reporters at the sidelines of an aviation summit last week the state-owned Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) will take charge in the implementation of the plan.

“The plan is still in principle and we are actually expecting resistance from the aviation school administrators, owners and students as most of them are foreigners. Most of the foreign students want to attend an aviation school near NAIA because they go to their home countries from time to time,” he said.

However, Mr. Gutierrez said allowing regional airports to house the aviation schools would translate to additional revenues as most of these airports have lower flight frequencies compared with NAIA.

“This will be part of CAAP and MIAA’s immediate plans. This will give these small airports additional revenues as they only generate revenues from air navigation fees for the airports,” he said.

Mr. Gutierrez said his agency broke even last year with close to P3 billion in revenues.

“Our revenues last year will be just enough for the maintenance but will not be enough for capital expenses. It will not be enough to maintain 86 airports. We will give the schools the preference which regional airport they would want to go to,” he said.

In July last year, CAAP ordered an audit of all 63 aviation schools in the country as the agency discovered that fake licenses had been issued to some student pilots.


NEHA JAIN                                                                                                                

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