Open Skies to focus on Secondary Routes

By Recto L. Mercene

January 6, 2011

NEWLY installed Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (Caap) head Ramon Gutierrez said pocket open- skies policy mandated by MalacaƱang would focus on the secondary routes, giving airlines the capability to offer better service in an open competition among carriers.

“I welcome this new development as the Caap expects better revenues for these routes,” he said.

Gutierrez was reacting to an announcement from MalacaƱang that President Aquino would soon issue an executive order granting a pocket open-skies policy on all secondary international airports in the country.

The President first formally announced his preference for a pocket open-skies policy at the public-private partnership (PPP) conference at the Marriott Hotel Manila on November 18, 2010. He promised to “put teeth” to EO 219 through its full implementation in international aviation.

Pocket open skies means that all international airports in the country, excluding the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia), are expected to attract foreign-based airlines and low-cost carriers (LCC).

Industry records show that there are 47.4 million seats available to foreign and local carriers, but only 10.97 million seats, or 23 percent, are being utilized, a situation being touted as an “overcapacity.”

The new EO would center initially on “four international secondary hubs”—Mactan-Cebu International Airport (Mcia) in Lapu-Lapu City; Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City; Laoag International Airport in Laoag City; and Zamboanga International Airport in Zamboanga City.

The Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) in Clark had already been earlier declared a pocket open-skies gateway in 2006, when then President Gloria Arroyo issued Executive Orders 500 and 500-A.

There are three more international airports considered as “secondary hubs”—Bacolod-Silay City International Airport in Silay City; General Santos International Airport in General Santos City; and Subic Bay International Airport in Olongapo City. Businessmirror


  1. What about Iloilo International Airport in Cabatuan-Santa Barbara and Puerto Princesa Airport?

  2. What does Ramon Gutierrez know about Open Skies? He should concentrated to get us out of the international sick hole of blacklists and downgrades and not talk about something he doesn't an idea at all! He should not sell our country! He is already selling his power!

  3. What does know all about the business? This is not new with CAAP "old" or "retiring" employees. THERE ARE ONLY SOME OF EMPLOYEES KNOW WHAT CAAP STANDS FOR THEIR WORK. THOSE WHO WORK HARD FOR THE BUSINESS. The rest are just "dummy" or spoon feed by the Agency.

  4. what do you expect from them. Why can't they organize first the CAT 2 issue before pursuing an open skies plan. How can you entertain guest when the house is in chaos.

  5. How can we assure that this proposal will come into reality as soon as possible?