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Businessmen push for Clark-Naia rail system

A business group is pushing for a fast rail system connecting Clark International Airport in Pampanga province and Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City.

The Management Association of the Philippines said it was fully supporting the plan of the Transportation Department to optimize, through upgrades, the existing Naia, while redeveloping Clark International Airport as a part of a holistic approach to the development of an aviation system for the Greater Manila Area and Luzon.

“We back the decision of Transportation Department to maintain and upgrade Naia, a valuable state asset. Upgrading the existing Naia facilities now will provide early and welcome relief to the present problem of severe passenger and aircraft traffic congestion at a time well within the term of the current administration. Pending completion of the upgrades, one quick way of mitigating the congestion in Naia is to make Clark attractive as an alternate departure and arrival airport through appropriate inducements,” the group said in a statement.

MAP said the proposed fast train between Tutuban and Clark would be he second important component of the proposed aviation system, next to the two air gateways.

A fast train link between the two airports, passing through the metropolis at a travel time of one hour maximum, will enable Clark to augment Naia’s operations while it, at the same time, serves the needs of air travelers to and from Central and Northern Luzon.

“For better connectivity and convenience of the traveling public, we suggest that the proposed fast train to Clark be extended to Naia, instead of terminating at Tutuban, Manila,” MAP said.

The group also pushed for the development of in-city check-in stations that should be easily accessible and strategically located adjacent to the fast train and near either the  North Luzon Expressway, South Luzon Expressway or Edsa.

One such facility could be located at the MPIC-proposed fast train terminal at the junction of Gil Puyat (Buendia) Ave. and PNR line in Makati, it said. 

The MRT 3 common station at the intersection of Edsa and North Ave. in Quezon City would be a good site for the second station, if such would be served by or linked to the fast train, according to MAP.

MAP said pending the train service, there should be a ransport connection from these check-in stations to Naia and to Clark via point-to-point airport limousine service using modern tourist-type buses that can quickly negotiate the distance.

“We believe that, together with the other components of the envisioned aviation system, optimization will extend the usefulness of Naia for another eight to ten years. However, we strongly recommend that the government look beyond that time frame and plan for the long term sustainable future of Naia,” the group said.

“Studies have been made to increase the airside capacity of Naia with the construction of a new parallel runway. Others involve complementing or replacing Naia with a new airport. It would be ideal that before the end of the current administration in 2022, a definite path be plotted for the future of Naia,” MAP said.

Topics: Clark-Naia rail system , Clark International Airport , Ninoy Aquino International Airport , Management Association of the Philippines

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