Tuesday, 10 May 2011 12:09
President Benigno C. Aquino III's selective open skies policy that aims to fully liberalize the Philippines’ aviation industry and benefit tourism, trade and investment, was recognized by ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) leaders as a step towards the realization of seamless travel between the 10-member country regional bloc envisioned under the ASEAN connectivity plan.
The ASEAN Connectivity Plan seeks to link all 10 ASEAN member countries through a network of commuter airports and Roll-On Roll-Off (RoRo) ports, which was originally proposed by the Philippines a few years back, has now been adopted as a major project towards the realization of an ASEAN Community by 2015.
Energy Secretary Jose Almendras said in a press conference Saturday that ASEAN leaders had discussed the proposal during the plenary session to encourage more budget airlines to operate direct flights among neighboring ASEAN countries from small regional airports.
Almendras said President Aquino’s selective open skies policy has effectively positioned the country to take advantage of the expected increase in airline traffic as a result of the ASEAN Connectivity Plan.
Almendras pointed out that the Philippines is now focusing on expanding its existing RoRo network to serve as the backbone for the proposed ASEAN RoRo network, another integral part of the ASEAN Connectivity Plan.
The Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity aims to provide a framework for regional cooperation and provide a foundation for further connectivity with other regions such as East Asia and South Asia. (PNA)
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