Clark Freeport soon to be airline hub in Luzon
by FFE PH News staff
Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) president and CEO Victor Jose I. Luciano said there is a strong indication the government will adopt a dual-airport system in the future.
Under the dual-airport system, operations of the Philippines’ main international gateway Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) will be complemented by the Clark International Airport (CIA). The dual-airport system is not new – New York and London, for example, have more than one airport in operation on a complementary basis.
CIA is fomerly named as Diosdado Macapagal International Airport.
CIAC’s president revealed that the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) has been quietly financing projects to upgrade CIAC’s facilities. An arrivals terminal is now nearing completion.
This announcement by CIAC comes in answer to critics who have pointed out that the Aquino government is neglecting calls to improve CIA for air travel. In the same statement, Luciano also announced that Qatar Airways will start daily flights via Doha-Qatar-Doha starting October 28.
Emirates Airlines has been providing non-stop daily flights via Dubai-Clark-Dubai since October 1. The partnership with Qatar Airways will open up Clark to 125 international destinations, said Luciano. He added that with Emirates and Qatar on board, the adoption of a dual-airport system for Metro Manila will be more feasible.
The fact that Emirates Airlines and Qatar Airways have chosen Clark airport also shows that Clark is ready to be the second gateway to the Philippines. ‘A lot of airports all over the world have been inviting Emirates and Qatar, and it’s really a wonder why these airlines chose Clark airport. Emirates, [has] been studying Clark for the past five years.
‘It is not an overnight decision.’
Luciano is confident that CIA will fit into the requirements for the dual-airport system as it falls within the urban beltway hub of Luzon and is at a central location in the Asian region. The Freeport is also an emerging metropolis – it has commercial centres and destinations for tourists. Plus, it has the infrastructure to support transportation lines.