We need a new airport - Del Rosario
MANILA, Philippines - Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario invited on Wednesday, January 9, the DFA press corps to lunch at the Diamond Hotel, a few minutes away from the department's main office along Roxas Blvd.
Del Rosario and his staff took an early morning flight to Legaspi City to attend the wake for the recently deceased mother of Albay Rep. and House Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Al Francis Bichara, but they were supposed to be back in Manila with more than enough time to make it to the lunch event at noon.
"We calibrated the trip so we would be here far ahead of time…But it didn't work because of the traffic we encountered on the ground between the aircraft at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA)," Del Rosario told reporters after apologizing for being an hour late.
The DFA chief explained that "the trip to Manila from Legaspi took 40 minutes, but after we landed, by the time we got to the hangar, it was over an hour because of all the aircraft waiting to take off."
"I think, we do need a new airport," Del Rosario said.
The Department of Foreign Affairs has a stake in the government's decision on aviation-related policies, including bilateral air negotiations and the future upgrade of Manila's airports.
NAIA, the main gateway to the Philippines, is the 34th busiest airport in the world. Its runway is congested and some of its terminal buildings are already bursting at the seams. International travel website Frommer's included Terminal 1 in in their list of 10 Worst Airport Terminals.