‘Dual Airport’ program gets AOC nod-A A +A
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
CLARK FREEPORT -- The Airline Operators Council (AOC) expressed support to the government's plan to develop both Clark International Airport (CIA) in Pampanga and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Metro Manila under the "Dual Airport" program.
"The AOC supports the principle of the 'Dual Airport' movement in the island of Luzon. We have always expressed concern that the Ninoy Aquino International Airport has reached its maximum capacity with the increasing number of passengers annually," the council stated.
"The government and the private sector must cooperate if we are true to our commitment that 'it's more fun in our Philippine airports,' the 14-member AOC said during a visit in Clark Tuesday.
The AOC and the airline industry are excited about recent developments in government to pursue this principle, it added.
There is no question that the runway system in Clark is far more capable of handling numerous inbound and outbound aircraft, according to the AOC.
"We are hopeful though that a new passenger terminal would soon turn into reality to encourage our members to schedule regular flights into and out of Clark," the AOC members said.
Clark International Airport Corporation president Victor Jose Luciano informed the AOC officers and members that Emirates Airlines will start daily flights (Dubai-Clark-Dubai) on October 1.
Qatar Airways has also commissioned daily flights (Via Doha-Clark-Doha) on October 28, 2013.
Luciano said Emirates and Qatar is expected to attract passengers especially Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) from Northern Luzon, who will have a direct to countries in the Middle East.
He also said that Emirates and Qatar will also bring European and Arab tourists in Clark and other parts of the country.
The AOC members expressed optimism to the government plan in the light of the regular flights to and from Clark initiated by two airlines.
AOC Chairman Florante Isidro expressed confidence that Clark Airport will play a major role in the aviation industry saying that "there is room for growth (for Clark) and everything is here."
Florante said that he was impressed by the developments at the airport particularly the on-going construction of the P360 million Phase 2 expansion of the Passenger Terminal.
The terminal is expected to be completed by the end of September in time for the operations of Emirates and Qatar in October.
The facility can accommodate 5 million passengers annually.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on September 11, 2013.