Senators Grace Poe and Francis Escudero will push for the full utilization of the Clark International Airport in Pampanga City to help ease air traffic congestion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) if they win in the upcoming elections.
Escudero said instead of looking at Clark as a replacement to NAIA, they are considering using it as a second hub for international flights NAIA is being transferred.
“Our plan is not to immediately close NAIA and make Clark as the new airport of Manila. Instead, we will use it as a second airport that will accommodate international flights,” Escudero said in a press conference in Angeles City, Pampanga.
While he believes that NAIA should be relocated outside Metro Manila, Escudero said the transfer should be done gradually for a smooth transition.
Poe said the full utilization of Clark airport will not only ease air traffic in NAIA but will also create jobs and hike tourist arrivals, boosting the $6 billion income the country earned from tourist arrivals last year.
Poe noted that Thailand’s income from tourist arrivals is around $42 billion.
The senator said that Clark’s existing runway is ideal for international flights and can accommodate big airplanes. The airport can still be expanded and more runways can be added to accommodate more planes.
“Clark can really help decongest NAIA, boost tourism, minimize unemployment, and it full utilization is one of our priorities if given a chance to lead the country,” Poe stressed.
The Poe-Escudero tandem will be using Clark as its takeoff and landing point during the campaign.
Clark international Airport was renamed Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) by virtue of a resolution approved by the Clark Development Corp. in 2003 during the time of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
However, its name was reverted to Clark International Airport because foreign pilots find it difficult to pronounce the new name.
Allies of President Benigno Aquino 3rd in Congress now want to name the airport Corazon C. Aquino International Airport.