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 DMIA declared main airport(Clark,Pampanga)

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PostSubject: DMIA declared main airport(Clark,Pampanga)   Wed Aug 20, 2008 4:53 am

(january 31,2008)



CLARK FREEPORT --
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has announced that the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) in Manila will be closed to give way to the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) here as the main international airport of the country.

Clark will now be the new premier airport, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declared during last Tuesday's Cabinet meeting in Malacaņang convened to discuss the future of Philippine aviation, including DMIA's role as a developmental route where a liberalized regime of air policies will be in effect.
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[color=red]Prior to issuing the directive, Transportation Secretary Leandro Mendoza briefed the President on the 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 providing for an open skies regime among a number of Asian countries including the Philippines.

"In other words, you are saying Clark will not just be a developmental route, it will now be the premier airport," Arroyo told Mendoza adding Clark will now be phased in as the premier airport because Naia is too crowded already.

Mendoza revealed that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) member-countries, including Japan, Korea and China, have already agreed to adopt open skies in the region beginning with unlimited flights between capital cities by December 2008.

Secretary Edgardo Pamintuan of the Subic-Clark Alliance for Development Council also confirmed Malacanang's latest pronouncements on the fate of the country's main international gateway.

"The President has declared during the last Cabinet meeting, which was fully supported by Secretary Mendoza, that DMIA will no longer be treated as a developmental route but as the main international airport of the country," Pamintuan said.

Pamintuan also revealed that Arroyo is inclined to sign and issue a new executive order liberalizing aviation over the DMIA and the Subic International Airport in Subic Freeport Zone in Zambales.

He said Arroyo instructed Presidential Chief Legal Counsel Sergio Apostol to review and come up with a final draft of a proposed Executive Order (EO) 500-B that will amend the existing EO 500-A.

"The President also instructed the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and other Cabinet members to study the aviation policies of Vietnam which has been experiencing dramatic growth of its tourism industry and determine whether these policies could be adopted to our advantage," Pamintuan said.

Clark officials, led by Clark International Airport Corporation (Ciac) chairman Nestor Mangio, Clark Development Corporation (CDC) chairman Rizalino Navarro, CDC President Levy Laus and Ciac Executive Vice President Alexander Cauguiran, also attended the Cabinet meeting in Malacaņang to lobby for the approval of the proposed EO 500-B.

Mangio welcomed the Arroyo's pronouncement on DMIA as the new main gateway adding, "it is the right thing to do to serve our national interests."

"DMIA is more than enough to answer our country need for a modern and efficient international gateway which is important for us to sustain our economic competitiveness in international trade and commerce," Mangio said.

Right now, according to Mangio, Clark's 2,500-hectare civil aviation complex is undergoing a major facelift starting with the phased expansion of its passenger terminal to accommodate around two million passengers per year.

"This initial phase of terminal expansion is expected to be finished by the first week of March this year," he said.

On top of its modern instrument landing system, navigational aids, meteorological equipment and complete airfield lighting system, Ciac also recently installed new US$10-million dollar radar considered as the most advanced in the country.

As one of the largest aviation complexes in Asia, with its two 3.2-kilometer parallel runways, DMIA is certified by the International Civil Aviation Organization (Icao) with ratings of Category I for Precision Approach Runway and Category IX for Emergency Services.

"There is even enough room at Clark's aviation complex to expand our runways and terminals to accommodate the largest wide-bodied aircraft in the world," Mangio said.

He noted that the recent landing at DMIA of the Airbus A380, currently the biggest passenger airline in the world that is capable of accommodating 800 passengers in a single flight.
For more Philippine news, visit Sun.Star Iloilo.
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