San Pedro: Clark ‘Best Bet’-A A +A
Check and Balance
Sunday, July 1, 2012
“CLARK is the best bet.”
For the nth time, business tycoon Manuel V. Pangilinan has reiterated his backing for the development of the Clark International Airport, the future premier international gateway of the country: “The country needs a new international airport and Clark is the best bet.”
The miniscule Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) has inadvertently caused aircraft congestion, flight delays, wasted aircraft fuel as incoming airlines circles Metro Manila before descending what Pangilinan described as a “shake, rattle and roll” runway.
Is it really craggy like the limestone of Palawan?
The Clark airport, now a beehive of activities, will soon welcome its five millionth passenger.
After the Americans left the sprawling military complex, I, along with Bulacan reporter Orlan Mauricio, climbed the steep stairs of the former US MAC Terminal tower and had the rare chance to view the devastation wrought by Mount Pinatubo 360 degrees. The whole of Clark had been blanketed with thick volcanic sediments – an eerie gray desolate landscape.
From a mere 2,107 international passengers in 2001, the Clark airport now recorded over 400,000 as of June 2012. There had been a 35 percent increase in international and domestic aircraft movement in the first five months of 2012 compared to the same period last year or 4,169 flights (2012) from 3,098 flights (2011).
On the international and domestic passenger volume, there had been a 52 percent increase in the first five months of 2012 compared to the same period last year or 491,903 passengers (2012) from 323,087 passengers (2011).
The entry of more domestic flights by AirAsia Philippines, Airphil Express and Seair furthered increase connectivity and passenger volume at the Clark airport. In May alone, Clark airport posted a 607 percent increase in domestic aircraft movement compared from the previous year or 424 domestic flights from 60.
The development of the Clark airport as premier gateway of the country is most feasible.
That is why MVP had been supporting its full operationalization. “I am a Kapampangan,” according to MVP who expressed his desire to build the second terminal for the Clark International Airport and the support facilities like the modern railway system that will provide for a seamless transport system between Clark and Metro Manila all the way to the South.
Meanwhile, Cebu Pacific VP for Marketing and Distribution Candice Iyog visited Clark on Friday and revealed that more aircraft are coming their way such as the A330 which is slated to take off for long-haul flights.
The fleet expansion of Cebu Pacific will reportedly serve markets outside Asia Pacific, including European destinations, the Middle East, Oceania and the United States.
The CEB’s long-haul operations are slated in the second half of 2013 with A330s flying on the first Trent engines.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on July 02, 2012.