Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista bats to improve inter-island connectivity through domestic airports.

Interisland connectivity in the country will only achieved with the establishment of more airports to guarantee improved accessibility and efficient mobility throughout the country during the 2023 Aviation Summit, Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista said.

Bautista emphasizes that the country’s goals in infrastructure development for transportation are driven by the aspiration to enhance its connectivity with other parts of the world.

“Transforming our airports —through expansion , upgrade and rehabilitation—is not only at the core of this administration’s thrust on infrastructure development but also crucial to connecting the country to the rest of the world,” Bautista said.

Bautista said that these airports must adapt to technological innovation without sacrificing safety of passengers.

During the summit, Bautista tackled the improvements at the Bohol-Panglao International Airport, Zamboanga International Airport, General Santos International Airport, Virac Airport, Puerto Princesa Airport, Ormoc and Calbayog Airports, Dumaguete and Catarman Airports, Butuan and Camiguin Airports.

Bautista also explained the ongoing developments in the Clark International Airport (CRK), Bicol International Airport (BIA), and the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.

Bautista updated aviation stakeholders on the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) projects in the sector, especially the modernization of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) after the airport’s pre-bid conference with prospective concessionaires last week.

Bautista said the once NAIA’s privatization is complete under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) scheme, the airport’s passenger capacity will increase, as well as its air traffic movement.

He said that part of the DOTr’s aviation projects are the New Manila International Airport, Sangley Point Airport in Cavite.

Efforts to digitize the NAIA are also in the works to enable real-time data exchange between aircraft, ground-handling operators and airport systems.

Bautista also cited the Civil Aeronautics Board’s (CAB) perspective that Philippine aviation is ripe for strategic investments in airport development and operation; maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO); and PPP in airport development.