NAIA is Philippines' busiest airport - NSCB means BUSINESS

MANILA - NAIA is the Philippines' busiest airport, handling more than half of all passenger traffic in the last decade, according to the National Statistical Coordination Board.

In a report, the NSCB said the airports in the National Capital Region accounted for an average share of 19.4 million passengers or 62.2 percent of all passenger traffic in the country from 2001 to 2011.

"Very important therefore to improve the quality of services and decongest or possibly relocate the NAIA to ensure on-time departures. Maybe even making Raymart and Claudine friends again with the Tulfos?" NSCB said, referring to the brawl between actor Raymart Santiago and company on the one hand, and journalist Ramon Tulfo on the other at the NAIA last month.

The NSCB said a little over half of passenger traffic in Manila airports in 2010 was on domestic flights, with 45.32 percent on international flights, and 0.75 percent using general aviation.

Besides the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, other busy gateways are in Central Visayas, Western Visayas and Davao, with average shares of 11.5 percent, 9.1 percent and 5.1 percent, respectively,  of total passenger movement.

Total passenger movement in the country’s airports increased from 19.9 million in 2001 to 52.1 million last year, increasing at an average rate of 10.1 percent per annum.

Aircraft movement - defined as a takeoff or arrival - increased from 343,039 in 2001 to 501,117 last year, or at an average rate of 3.9  percent per annum. 

Again, NCR airports accounted for the biggest share at 41.4 percent of the total aircraft movement, followed by  Central Luzon, Central Visayas and Western Visayas, which accounted for 14.9 percent, 11.2 percent, and 10.4 percent, respectively, of the national total.

Out of the 85 national airports in 2010, 38 were in Luzon, 22 in the Visayas, and 25 in Mindanao. Ten of them were international airports, five of which were in Luzon, two in the Visayas, and three in Mindanao.

The Philippines had 131 airports in 1976, peaked to 300 in 1994 before dropping to 203 in 2010 because of the closure of private strips.

"It may be noted that the significant decline happened after the Asian financial crisis in 1997. Private airports accounted for  58.1 percent of the total registered airports in the country in 2010," NSCB said.

Aircraft accidents increased from 15 in 2006 to 18 in 2009 but dropped to 14 cases in 2010.

The NSCB said most common causes of the accidents were engine-related or crash landing, accounting for 19 and 10 cases, respectively, out of a total number of 75 in the last six years.