NAIA closure, Clark as new int’l gateway

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CLARK FREEPORT, Pampanga (PNA) – The P56 million additional expansion of the passenger terminal at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) and other development projects here, are being rushed in preparation for the “downgrading and eventual closing” of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

President and CEO Victor Jose I. Luciano of Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) said that the expansion of the existing passenger terminal and installation of additional conveyors are seen to be completed in the first week of March.

Another project, the $ 1.5 million in-flight catering service facilities is scheduled for completion before April 5, the birthday of President Arroyo.

At a Cabinet meeting in Malacanang Palace on January 22, this year, President Arroyo announced that NAIA would be “downgraded and closed” in six months to one year’s time.

In effect, NAIA’s closure would transform DMIA into the new main gateway for people travelling by air.

CIAC chairman Nestor Mangio welcomed the President’s announcement, saying that “DMIA is more than enough to answer our country’s need for a modern and efficient international gateway. It is important for us to sustain our economic competiveness in international trade and commerce.”

DMIA’s two 3.2-kilometer parallel runways and the 2,500-hectare complex are also undergoing a major facelift to service the increasing number of domestic and international flights and to accommodate the increasing number of air passengers to at least 2 million annually.

Currently, an average of about 42,000 passengers arrive at the DMIA every month.

More check-in and arrival counters are being constructed inside the terminal, to speed up the processing of both the out-bound and in-bound passengers.

Mangio and Luciano noted that millions of overseas Filipino workers in Central and Northern Luzon going to or coming from overseas destinations will no longer have to travel to Manila to catch or disembark from their flights because “DMIA is right at the door-step.”

Most of the OFWs in nearby Asian countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Bangkok, Macau, Hong Kong and even Saudi Arabia pass through DMIA because of the presence of budget airlines.

DMIA was recently cited by the Center for Asia-Pacific aviation (CAPA) as the “Low Cost Airport of the Year” because of its contribution to the regional aviation industry.

Sec. Leandro Mendoza of the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) earlier briefed the President on tne need to transfer NAIA’s operations to DMIA to “ensure the country’s economic competitiveness.

“For the Philippines to be competitive, we have to close NAIA as our major gateway and transfer to Clark,” Mendoza said referring to an impending multi-lateral agreement for providing for an open skies regime among a number of Asian countries including the Philippines.

On top of the airport modern landing instruments, navigational aids, meteorological equipment and airfield lighting system, CIAC also has completed the installation of a new $ 10 million radar facility considered as the most advanced in the country. (PNA)

Find more like this: Transportation

Comments

  1. […] for the “downgrading and eventual closing” of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). (more…) Philippines News : Read the rest of this article […]

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    Nice! I’ll make similar post in own blog

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