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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Govt agencies, airlines urged to help address airport queues

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Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco on Wednesday called on agencies involved in airport operations as well as airline companies to work together in addressing passenger woes, particularly the long queues in various airports.

Tansingco made the call after receiving reports of long lines at the immigration area, following the New Year’s Day air traffic control glitch at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport that prompted the cancellation or diversion of local and international flights, affecting more than 60,000 passengers.

He noted that the agency has reached the maximum capacity of counters at the airport, and that he has even assigned two to four immigration officers in counters at certain terminals to help address the long lines.

“All counters were manned, but the lines remained long,” Tansingco said in a news statement.

“While passengers were processed expeditiously, more can be done to improve this,” he added.

Tansingco identified the airports’ limited space as one of the major reasons contributing to the long queues in various terminals.

“It’s already a space problem.  We can add so many officers, but if the space is limited, then there will still be lines,” he stated.

Thus, Tansingco said the Bureau of Immigration (BI) supports the decongestion of Naia and opening of new airports.

“As we open our borders, we should innovate in anticipation of the rebound of international tourism,” Tansingco added.

Tansingco also stressed the need for airline companies to cooperate with concerned government agencies in addressing the problem.

He said regulating the influx of passengers by proper scheduling is one of the measures that airlines can implement.

“This is a joint concern that we must all address in all aspects. We believe that by working together, this concern can be resolved,” Tansingco stressed.

As of December 2022, BI Port Operations Division Chief Atty. Carlos Capulong reported that they are processing around 35,000 daily arrivals and around 29,000 departures for all international airports.

The increase in the number of travelers, according to the BI, is a sign that worldwide tourism is picking up.

The BI has a total recorded arrival of more than 6.1 million travelers in 2022.

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