DOST pitches use of locally-developed trains at NAIA terminals

By Ma. Cristina Arayata

December 22, 2022, 6:43 pm

<p>(<em>PNA file photo by Cristina Arayata</em>)</p>

(PNA file photo by Cristina Arayata)

MANILA – An executive of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) on Thursday said the agency has proposed using locally-developed trains at the four terminals of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

Metals Industry Research and Development Center (MIRDC) executive director Robert Dizon said Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista recently went to the DOST and told him about the Automated Guideway Transit (AGT) System, Hybrid Electric Road Train (HERT) and Hybrid Electric Train (HET).

"We just introduced to him our mass transport systems. He was very interested, especially with the AGT which we said is ideal for connecting the NAIA terminals," Dizon told the Philippine News Agency.

Dizon added that DOST Secretary Renato Solidum Jr. said the agency will come up with a concept paper and will continue further discussions.

According to the MIRDC, the AGT is powered by electricity, has a coach that could carry a maximum of 30 passengers, and can run at a top speed of 60 kph at full load. It was designed with environment-friendly features such as lesser fossil fuel dependence and zero greenhouse gas emissions.

The other DOST-developed transport systems that they presented were the HERT, which is 40 meters long, with five interlinked coaches that could accommodate 220 passengers per coach; and the HET that was adopted by the Philippine National Railways.

"Working hand in hand for the benefit of the people, not only in the field of transportation and communication, is critical. We are glad to work with the DOTr as we augment both the departments' goal of strengthening the country's investment, climate and economic growth," Solidum said.

Meanwhile, data from the Manila International Airport Authority showed that the passenger volume at the NAIA from Dec. 1 to 21 has reached 85 percent of the pre-pandemic figure.

There were 2.4 million passengers at NAIA in the first 21 days of December this year, while 2.8 million passengers were logged in the same period in 2019.

The current volume of passengers is much higher than the 898,000 total from Dec. 1 to 21, 2021.

Due to the surge in passenger volume this peak season, airport authorities recently tapped Grab car rental fleet to dedicate an additional 200 units at the country's main gateway. (PNA)