‘Twin airport’ system proposal gets support-A A +A
Monday, February 25, 2013
CLARK FREEPORT – Officials of various aviation firms have expressed support to the twin airport system for the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and Clark International Airport (CIA).
Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and the Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) proposed the system for the two airports.
The aviation stakeholders, which include airline firms, local businessmen, local officials, and others, aired this during the recently concluded Clark Aviation Conference initiated by CIAC and the Global Gateway Logistics City (GGLC).
Captain Benjamin Solis, consultant of CIAC, said the CIA should not compete with the country's premier airport NAIA.
Clark airport may complement NAIA’s operation, according to Solis. "NAIA should not be replaced. It can serves as a southern gateway to the greater capital region. A twin to CIA," Solis said.
NAIA will serve the Southern parts of Luzon while CIA will serve its catchment area at North.
"Clark can serve the role of rationalizing NAIA's capacity challengers by providing the airlines the opportunity of a second gateway in Luzon," Solis said.
CIA may become a major hub of low cost carriers (LCCs) similar to that of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, Solis said.
The "Twin Airport" concept was backed by University of Asia and the Pacific Professor Bernardo Villegas.
"Clark is the perfect location for a second gateway in the country. The government should stop talks of Cavite, Bulacan and others. They have no runways to talk about," Villegas said.
Villegas, also a consultant on management development and strategic planning, added that Japanese, Chinese and Korean investors prefer to put their businesses in Central Luzon since Metro Manila is congested and saturated.
NAIA has reached its limits which put the airport to Category 3, Solis said.
Bringing other flights to Clark would improve the operational standing of NAIA, he added.
Solis said a budget terminal should be constructed to service LCCs and provide for their expansion in the next 10 years.
Concentration of LCCs in Clark and their eventual expansion in network size will create a market forecasted to reach an output of 15 million passengers in 10 years time.
Solis added that under the land use of plan, a full service gateway terminal with a capacity of up to 80 million passengers can be put to Clark, supported by two more parallel runways.
Emirates Airline announced that it will start flying Dubai-Clark airport, its second destination in the Philippines, starting October 1, 2013.
LCCs operating in Clark are AirAsia Philippines, Zest Air, AirAsia Berhad Malaysia, Cebu Pacific Airlines, AirPhil Express, Seair-Tiger Airlines and JinAir.
Meanwhile, long haul carriers include Dragon Air and Asiana Airlines. CIAC President and Chief Executive Officer Victor Jose Luciano said more airlines have expressed interest to locate and fly in Clark airport.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on February 25, 2013.