Sorry, Diosdado Macapagal: PNoy Allies Move to Rename Clark as Another ‘Aquino’ Airport

Soon to be called “Clark International Airport”

It looks like the Philippines will have two Aquino international airports before PNoy steps down in mid-2016.

A bill renaming Clark as the “Corazon C. Aquino International Airport” and the Clark International Airport Authority into the “Corazon C. Aquino International Airport Authority” sailed through the joint transportation and government enterprise and privatization committee hearings on Wednesday.

The main proponent of the bill, which will now move to the floor for deliberations, is staunch Aquino ally Pampanga Rep. Joseller “Yeng” Guiao.

Guiao’s father, Bren, was a long-time Pampanga governor first appointed to the position by Cory Aquino after Edsa 1.

It was not clear why the young Guiao wanted to rename Clark after the Edsa 1 heroine when the Cojuangco and the Aquino clans are from the neighboring Tarlac province.

“With the pressing problem of congestion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Metro Manila, the (Cory Aquino International Airport) is being envisioned to be the Philippines’ next premier international airport,” Guiao said in the bill’s preamble.

The proposed name change reflects the vagaries of Philippine politics thought to have been gone out of fashion since the hagiographic rage that afflicted the Marcos regime.

Clark was renamed Diosdado Macapagal International Airport only in 2003, after the daughter of the first Pampango president herself ascended to Malacanang.

With Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo out of power, the airport reverted to its American-era nomenclature, and Diosdado Macapagal was reduced to just being the name of the unfinished budget terminal within the 2,200-hectare Clark civil aviation complex.

Another Guiao bill also wants to rename the adjoining 28,041-hectare Clark free trade zone as the “Cory Aquino Freeport Zone,” abolishing the present Clark Development Corp. in favor of a “Corazon C. Aquino Special Economic Zone and Freeport Authority.”


Source: Manila Bulletin


Emirates, one of the world’s largest airlines, announced it will launch its daily non-stop flights from Clark to Dubai on October 1, 2013 to cater to Filipinos and tourists whose destination is  Northern Luzon.

This move makes Emirates the only international full service     carrier operating westbound from Clark International Airport (CIA).  And with the Manila and Clark route, Emirates offers four daily operations between Dubai and the Philippines.

The award-winning airline, which flies to over 120 destinations worldwide, first flew to the Philippines in 1990 via the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

This year, with the Philippines’ tourism efforts, the new gateway is in line with the country’s vision to attract 4.5 million annual tourists, which the government hopes to increase to 10 million by 2016.

“Filipinos now have the freedom to choose between Clark International Airport and Ninoy Aquino International Airport, which demonstrates our commitment to our customers,” said Gigie Baroa, Emirates Philippines’ country manager. “And with this new route, we are reaching more Filipinos who live in Northern Luzon, bringing them and their loved ones closer than ever.”

The Clark route will also serve as the new exit point for the millions of Filipinos working in the Middle East, which has the second largest number of temporary overseas Filipino population of around 2.7 million, with 1.5 million in Saudi Arabia and 680,000 in the UAE.

A two-class Boeing 777-300ER will operate on the new route. The two-class configuration variant allows the airline to add more seats to the aircraft in the economy and business classes while the aircraft’s first class will be scrapped.

Recently awarded ‘World’s Best Airline’ by Skytrax at the 2013 World Airline Awards, Emirates offers the best service in the business. Its world-renowned in-flight entertainment system, which includes Wi-Fi connectivity and the acclaimed ice Digital Widescreen entertainment, has also been awarded ‘World’s Best In-flight Entertainment’ for the ninth consecutive year.

Twin Airport Solution for PHL Aviation

By Jennifer A. Ng | BusinessMirror


clark_airportForeign businessmen called on the government to consider seriously the “twin-airport solution” that is anchored on making the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) more efficient while expanding the Clark International Airport in Pampanga.

The Joint Foreign Chambers (JFC) made this proposal in a position paper it submitted recently to the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC). “We call on the DOTC to seriously consider the so-called twin airports, an option based on the coexistence and improvement of both Clark and the Naia,” the JFC said. “While we recognize that the DOTC is also looking at the option of closing the Naia in favor of a new international gateway airport, we do believe that both aviation hubs would share a ‘symbiotic relationship’ that benefits the domestic and foreign traveling public,” the foreign businessmen added.

They said the twin-airport solution is the best solution to accommodate the future growth of Philippine aviation. The JFC said improving the Naia and expanding Clark is made all the more critical by the plan of the government to attract 10 million tourists by 2016. The JFC noted that modernizing and improving the efficiency of the Naia and steadily expanding Clark will allow the convenience of executive travel at the Naia and cater best to the growth of the tourism industry, especially through budget travel.

The foreign businessmen said the upgrade of the Naia should include the modernization of all its four terminals, including its navigational equipment for passenger safety, comfort and convenience. “Projects in Clark would include the rapid expansion of the budget terminal, construction of a gateway terminal and installation of complete navigational equipment,” the JFC said. While they recognize that access to Clark is currently a problem, foreign businessmen said they “strongly believe” that plans for faster land transportation connections between Makati and Clark should be implemented.

The JFC pointed to the experience of Tokyo and Shanghai, two large Asian metropolises that are served by two international airports. Tokyo, for one, has developed Narita International Airport and restricted Haneda International Airport largely to domestic flights. In Shanghai, China, the Pudong International Airport serves international passengers while Hongqiao International Airport serves both international and domestic passengers. The JFC said it also supports the development of the Manila Entertainment City project. “With plans for as many as 8,000 hotel rooms in four gaming/entertainment complexes intended eventually to be larger than Las Vegas, it is important to consider the convenience of foreign destination travelers in quickly transiting to the new complex on the Naia Expressway Phase 2 link with Naia Terminal 3,” the JFC said.