CLARK International Airport hopes to receive the highest fire safety rating upgrade from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in the third quarter next year, a top official said.
The airport currently has a safety rating of Category 9 and is expected to be upgraded to Category 10 by the third quarter of 2014, Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) President and Chief Executive Officer Victor Jose I. Luciano told BusinessWorld.
CIAC will purchase two brand new Rapid Fire Trucks to beef up its emergency capabilities, Mr. Luciano said in a text message. The trucks will be able to handle even the world’s largest passenger aircraft, the Airbus A380 and Boeing 777.
“The Middle East carriers, particularly Emirates Airlines, have a large fleet of [Airbus] A380s, and if at all, it would be the first in history in the Philippine Aviation that an A-380 will fly commercially in the country,” Mr. Luciano noted.
Emirates flies to Clark daily. The fire trucks will be funded by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) and have a projected cost of P120 million.
The management of the airport has yet to file a formal application with the ICAO, however.
“We haven’t filed an application yet. We will file once the trucks arrive,” Mr. Jose said.
The trucks are expected to arrive in September next year.
Meanwhile, seven commercial aircraft were diverted Wednesday to the Clark International Airport due to air traffic congestion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
Flights from AirAsia Zest, Cebu Pacific, Etihad Airlines, Philippine Airlines Express, and Singapore Airlines were diverted.
The government is looking into the possibility of having a dual-airport system by further expanding, improving, and modernizing the capacity of Clark Airport and NAIA.
Aviation groups and business clusters have repeatedly expressed their support for the prospect.
Clark Airport has recorded 1.3 million international passengers this year, more than double the 600,000 passengers in 2012.
Source: Lorenz Christoffer S. Marasigan, Business World Online