Congestion weighing on Airbus expansion


AIRBUS Helicopters said it is looking to expand in the Philippines but is still waiting for the decision of the government on how it will address congestion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA.

“We are still waiting for the government [to make its decision]. We don’t know if we will expand here in Manila or if we will transfer to Clark,” Airbus Helicopters senior governmental service sales manager Yves Poesy told The Manila Times at their hangar located at the NAIA.

According to Poesy, Airbus hopes to expand its presence in the Philippines, particularly in the military sector. Currently, majority of its customers in the country come from the private sector.

But its expansion plans will depend a great deal on what the government intends to do with NAIA’s congestion problem.

“We are still waiting. But we are sure that we are not contributing to congestion here because helicopters do not use runways,” Poesy said.

The Philippine government has been pushing for the development of the Clark International Airport (CRK) to help ease traffic congestion at the NAIA. CRK has also announced last year that it was ready to accept coordinated flights from NAIA.

CRK is currently building a new terminal which will have an annual capacity of eight million passengers when completed.

The European helicopter manufacturer also said it is open to the possibility of constructing an assembly plant in the country.

“If that is a requirement of the Philippine government and if there is a need for a big quantity. We are open to discussions,” Poesy told reporters.

“Because you don’t set up an assembly facility if there are few helicopters. We have been doing that in some other countries, but it really depends on the quantity requirements,” Poesy added.

At present, there are 70 Airbus helicopters in the Philippines. The company has a 50 percent market share in the country and hopes to increase that to 60 percent in the next three years.


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