IATA’s Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac, has called on the Philippine government to address the key issues of airport infrastructure, excessive regulation and taxation in order to unlock the full potential that aviation can bring to the country. De Juniac made these comments in his opening remarks at the Philippine Aviation Day in Manila on 27 October.

Aviation contributes 1.2 million jobs and $9.2 billion in GDP to the Philippine economy. It has the potential to grow to 3.4 million jobs and $23 billion in GDP in 2035. But this is by no means guaranteed. De Juniac urged the government to prioritize the following areas:

Infrastructure


  • Urgently implement proposals to enhance the runway and terminal capacities at NAIA. This will provide much needed additional capacity (to the maximum of the airport’s physical constraints) until a new airport is ready.
  • Further develop Clark International Airport as a secondary, not primary, airport for Manila.
  • Quickly decide on a site within reasonable proximity of central Manila where a two-runway airport could be built and expanded. This recognizes that physical constraints at NAIA and Clark’s distance from Manila prevent either from fulfilling this role.

Excessive Regulation


  • Adopt smarter regulation principles when developing new regulations
  • Abandon the new consumer protection legislation in the Philippines that would cap air fares, prohibit overbooking and impose onerous consumer protections extra-territorially.

Taxation


  • Avoid implementing a tourism tax
  • Abandon a proposed Green Fee.

The full text of de Juniac’s address can be read here.