CLARK FREEPORT -- The administration of President Benigno Aquino III is considering the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) as the country's new international airport.

Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) president Victor Jose Luciano said that the new leaderships of the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) and Department of Tourism (DOT) have seen the need to fully develop the DMIA.

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Luciano said that newly installed DOTC Secretary Jose De Jesus supports the effort of Clark and local officials pushing for the full operation of Clark as the country's premier gateway.

Luciano also cited the support of new DOT Secretary Alberto Lim to the development of DMIA saying the latter has always been an advocate of Clark.

He said that De Jesus has been getting more information about the situation of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) following issued like congestion and the recent diversion of flights to the DMIA.

Luciano said that the new administration is looking at a bigger picture that the Philippines needs to develop its aviation industry considering its strategic location in Asia.

Neighboring countries like Malaysia, Singapore, Hongkong, Thailand, and others have already open their skies and built modern and big airports, according to Luciano.

"Clark airport has to be developed fast," Luciano said.

DMIA can accommodate 2.7 million passengers annually if its two terminals will be fully developed.

At present, NAIA has a capacity of 24 million passengers per year, which is far behind that of Malaysia airport with 60 million passengers, HongKong airport with 50 million passengers, and Thailand airport with 45 million passengers.

In the meantime, DMIA will continue to be a friendly and convenient alternate airport, Luciano said.

National leaders have seen how Clark airport handled diverted flights from the NAIA. Airport officials diverted more than 50 flights to the DMIA in two separate instance because of bad weather. (Reynaldo G. Navales)