Economy: Dual airport scheme pushed

Posted on July 18, 2013

LEADERS of local and foreign business groups signed a declaration yesterday, reiterating their call to make Clark International Airport (CIA) an alternative facility to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

“We welcome the Philippine government’s declaration of keen interest in pursuing the dual airport system to support air connectivity throughout the island of Luzon and the country,” the declaration read.

CIA stakeholders in the document also lauded the approval of the interim terminal, with a planned capacity of 2.5 million passengers, and the budget terminal, with a projected capacity of 10 million passengers, for the airport, in line with the Department of Tourism’s target of 10 million tourist arrivals by 2016.

The signatories to the dual airport declaration document were:

• Jeff Pradhan, Global Gateway Logistics City vice-president of sales and marketing;

• Marianne Hontiveros, AirAsia Philippines CEO;

• Capt. Benjamin Solis, Asia Foundation air transport advisor;

• Rene Banzon, Clark Investors and Locators Association president and SIA Engineering deputy general manager;

• Stephen Ly, DHL Global Forwarding (Phils.) Inc. managing director;

• Mitchi Kaye Otsuru, Hotels and Restaurants in Pampanga president;

• Francis Lopez , Intercommerce Network Services, Inc. president and CEO;

• David Nelson, Jamco Philippines president;

• Mario “Tito” Lazatin, Metro Angeles Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. president;

• Raoul Perez, Philippine Academy for Aviation Training general manager;

• Crisanto Frianeza, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry secretary-general;

• Sergio Ortiz-Luis, Jr., Philippine Exporters Confederation president;

• Crisanto Venzon, Philippine Exporters Confederation — Region 3 president;

• Abdallah Okasha, Qatar Airways Philippines country manager/director;

• Reimond Silvestre, Subic Bay International Terminal Corp. general manager;

• Arnel Gamboa, Supply Chain Management Association of the Philippines president;

• Olive Collantes-Ramos, TigerAir Philippines CEO;

• Angelito Colona, United Portusers Confederation president; and,

• Alexander Feldman, US-ASEAN Business Council, Inc. president.

The ceremonial signing of the declaration is a follow-up initiative to the Clark Aviation Conference that was held in February.

According to a release, the call to make the CIA the second international gateway, complementing NAIA, and the fast-tracking of the airport’s infrastructure development to accommodate the rapidly increasing passenger, carrier and cargo growth were top priorities.

When asked about the possible construction of a budget terminal beside NAIA Terminal 3 and its possible effect on the approval of the development of CIA, AirAsia Philippines’ Hontiveros said, “I don’t think it’s an ‘either-or’; these have to go simultaneously. They also have to address the terminals issue in NAIA, so I don’t see that it’s just one or the other, Clark terminal or NAIA terminal. They both have to happen, and all these problems have to be solved.”

The stakeholders are hopeful that the addition of more international flights will reinforce their efforts to make the CIA an alternative to NAIA.

Emirates Airlines and Qatar Airways are poised to fly daily flights to CIA.

Emirates flights will start on Oct. 1, and Qatar flights will start Oct. 28.

Clark International Airport Corp. recorded passenger growth of 63% for the first quarter of 2013 compared with the same period last year. — Ma. Soccoro Villamor


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