CLARK AIRPORT MODERN, EXPANDED, NEW TERMINAL
Staying ahead of the game and maintaining a broad-minded mentality, CIAC and the Philippines government have poured well-used funds into the remodeling of the terminal building at DMIA. President Gloria Macapgal Arroyo inaugurated the new P112 million expansion terminal on April 4, 2008.
From an initial design capacity of 500,000 passengers per year the new Clark Airport terminal can now handle more than 2 million passengers per year. Looking very futuristic, clean and technologically advanced, this terminal should illicit proud responses from anyone passing through its gates. Included in the new terminal is a total of 6,279 square meters of floor space, up from the previous 5,365 square meters of floor area.
Within the confines of this new space you will find a fresh arrival area containing a new state-of-the-art arrival conveyor in the baggage claim area accompanying a new modern look throughout with a ceiling design straight out of Star Wars.
New multi-station carousels in the check-in area helps provide for clean, efficient, stress-reducing, unobstructed departures. Increased seating areas while waiting for your plane ensure you will be comfortable and relaxed as you prepare to depart.
Also included in the remodeled Clark Airport is a new immigration counter, five new airline administrative offices and 5 new airline ticketing offices, new restrooms, new coffee shop and a new pre-departure check-in lobby area.
By the middle of 2008 we will start to see the beginning of construction of the new DMIA Terminal 2 project. This will be a from-the-ground-up, completely new terminal with all the modern amenities. Terminal 2, when finished, will increase the total capacity from 2 million passengers per year to about 8 million passengers annually.
CIAC’s President Jose Victor Luciano recently was noted as saying that CIAC has begun inviting proposals for the construction and design of the approved, new"terminal 2" project for the DMIA. The Al Kharafi group of Kuwait and Changi Airports International of Singapore have expressed their interest to develop the entire civil aviation complex at Clark Airport. Look-out San Francisco International, Clark Airport is coming on strong.
Modern, New Arrival Terminal at CIAC
NEW STATE-OF-THE-ART RADAR AND NAVIGATIONAL AIDS AT CLARK AIRPORT
Spending $9.3 million on a Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) system in 2007 translates to investment in the future of air travel at Clark. Radar of this caliber can track aircraft in a radius pattern from 60 to 220 nautical miles out. With this system in place it elevates Clark Airport to a class with other major airports in Asia and beyond. This system adds significant safety advantages, speeds-up arrivals and departures and generally ensures a greater level of airline pilot confidence. This advanced Radar system answered the needs of, and opens the door to additional major air-carriers stepping-in to establish service at Clark Airport. This radar system brings DMIA into compliance with the Canadian International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards.
In addition to the TRACON system, state-of-the-art electronic communication, radar, navigation, approach-lighting and fire/safety systems have been implemented at the Clark Airport. Facilities such as, Instrument Landing Systems (ILS), Doppler Very High Frequency Omni-Directional Range Radar, VHF/UHF Transmitters, MET Garden Communications, modern meteorological Equipment, Precision Approach Path Indicator Airfield Ground Lighting System and advanced, Category 9 Crash, Fire and Rescue Equipment enhanced by annual safety practice scenarios practiced.
When CIAC contracts for critical airport equipment and infrastructure they ensure the job is going to be done properly. In the instance of the TRACON radar system mentioned above, one of the largest European telecommunications companies, Sisteme Integrati, was hired as the prime contractor. See some of the photos of the completed installation and President Arroyo going over the technical issues with the contractors below.
President Arroyo, Mr. Luciano of CIAC and others Look on as Contractors
Demonstrate Operation of New $9.3 million TRACON Radar System
SINGAPORE AIRLINES GROUP/CEBU PACIFIC READY TO SETUP NEW MRO FACILITY
Singaporean Airlines Engineering Company (SIAEC), a division of Singapore Airlines Group of Companies understands the progress of Clark Airport and the CIAC group, considering huge business-potential, they desire to be part of the opportunity.
Based in Singapore’s Changi Airport, SIAEC is a major provider of aircraft maintenance repair and overhaul services in the Asia Pacific Region. This is a world-class company performing complex aircraft services all the way up to complete airframe overhaul. SIAEC works on the most advanced jets out there for up to 80 international airline and aerospace equipment manufacturers from 40 countries around the world. Having 20 certifications from various airworthiness authorities worldwide, SIAEC is a high-caliber company recognized across the airline industry.
SIAEC President Willy Tan, in partnership with Cebu Pacific Airways signed a memorandum of understanding with CIAC President Victor Luciano to commit to a $100 million, three-hanger Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility for wide-bodied aircraft at Clark.
SIAEC holds a 65% share of the facility which will augment their current Singapore MRO facility and help them to be more competitive, capturing an additional share of the market in the aircraft heavy-maintenance outsourcing sector.
As with SIAEC’s six-hanger, 22 workshop facility in Singapore, the Clark Airport location will repair, maintain and overhaul some of the largest aircraft in the world including the Boeing 747-400, Boeing 777 and even the new Airbus A-380. Build-out is projected in three years, with anticipation that SIAEC will eventually develop a total of five large hangers at the facility at a later date.
The MRO will be located on a 10-hectare property in the Clark Aviation Complex. It is expected to complement the new mega-logistics facility being developed at Clark by the KGL Group of Kuwait.
Bringing 700 jobs in the high-tech field of aircraft repair and maintenance to the Clark Philippines Zone is no easy task. The assurance of a qualified workforce is essential. Fortunately Clark is ready for the challenge.
A couple of the factors responsible for SIAEC banking on the Philippines and bringing such a huge operation to Clark Airport facility is the highly trained and diligent Filipino worker and the fact that Clark has a specialized aircraft maintenance trade school right in the middle of the Freeport.
This educational establishment is called Clark Polytechnic. It offers training in various areas of aircraft maintenance. These courses in Aircraft Maintenance Technology prepare students for various aspects of Aviation Technology. Some of these include: junior airframe, power plant mechanic, aircraft specialist, composite technician, aircraft system technician, cabin and interior mechanic, maintenance planner, aircraft welder to name a few.
Add to the above the fact that Clark Polytechnic has a new, state of the art A-320 aircraft simulator for training jumbo-jet aircraft pilots and you see that the future is covered. Clark Polytechnic will ensure the needs are met for aircraft-maintenance workers and pilot-training to provide highly qualified employees to these important airline industries in the near and distant future.
IN-FLIGHT CATERING SERVICE
What is an airline trip without a meal and drinks? Food and drink onboard a medium-length or even short-length flight seems to take the edge off and make the trip seem shorter. On long-haul flights food and beverage is an absolute necessity. In the preparation for making DMIA a long-haul airport, a facility for preparation of quality meals is essential.
Enter Gate Gourmet; one of the world’s largest in-flight catering services, in a joint venture with Miascor this team is fulfilling this important service need.
As of November 2007, work began on the first phase of a 3,000 square meter, $2-million, world-class catering facility on the grounds of DMIA close to the current CIAC administrative offices. A second phase will be built for an additional $5 million, eventually serving up to 4000 meals a day as DMIA signs major long-haul international carriers from around the world.
The following quote from the Gate Gourmet website expresses the top-notch company they are: "Global in scope, comprehensive in approach and flawless in delivery, Gate Gourmet Inspirations draws on our superior culinary talent from around the world to offer you a premium solution for inflight dining and airport lounges."
The Gate Gourmet/Miascor catering facility is an important project in order to attract Middle East and other world-class airline companies who need quality meals for their long-haul flights. Once this facility is completed sometime in mid-2008, DMIA will have accomplished yet another vital-step at becoming the premier gateway of the Philippines.
PHILIPPINES AIRLINES AND CEBU PACIFIC READY FOR NEW HUBS
The major Philippine carries that fly into Manila understand the congestion and limitations of Manila’s NAIA all too well. NAIA only has one runway and the area is entirely built-out with high-dollar developments everywhere, eliminating the possibility for expansion. They understand that Clark’s DMIA has been designated the next gateway and is the logical choice for future expansion.
Philippines Airlines has recently mentioned plans to make Clark’s DMIA their main hub for maintenance, ground-handling and catering services. There is talk that a long-term lease may be entered into prior to the 2010 for P5 billion obtaining 30 hectares at DMIA to build a new facility for PAL.
Recent news in April 2008 details that Macroasia Corp. the airline services company of Lucio Tan and PAL, said it had signed an agreement with First Metro Investment Corp. for a P450-million standby credit line for expanding its facilities in the airports of Manila and Clark Freeport.
Macroasia management has permission to invest $50-$100 million in the Clark DMIA maintenance, ground-handling and catering facility, depending on results of ongoing feasibility studies and on projected demands from various airlines.
PAL’s President Jaime Bautista has recently been noted as saying that Clark will likely become a premier airport in the next five to seven years and “PAL must be part of this development.”
CIAC’s master plan includes adding a third runway and another state-of-the-art terminal allowing for an eventual arrival and departure volume of 40 million people. Mr. Bautista said they will make their decision to move their operations to Clark once CIAC has implemented its master plan in order to allow for the needed passenger volume.
Cebu Pacific, already in an expansion-mode, and not to be left-out has made lots of noise making clear their intent to make Clark their base of operations in the country.
Cebu is expanding-out with ever-increasing international flights to Twiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, and Bangkok, only waiting on approval of the individual counties governments. They feel DMIA fits perfectly with their outreach efforts to the rest of the world.
Cebu believes that Clark is a catalyst for growth for country and their executives believe that basing an operation hub in Clark is in line with their overall plan for the growth of Northern Philippines as well as the commercial aviation market as a whole in the Philippines.
Cebu is already making it easier for the average Filipino to fly with its ultra-low fares and plans on providing additional inter-island routes and flights to the Northern Philippines from Clark. They plan on taking delivery of additional aircraft once the Clark hub is in place to facilitate this growth pattern.
DMIA - THE HISTORIC MAKING OF A MEGA-AIRPORT
The 2,500-hectare DMIA is well on its way to becoming the Philippine’s premier airport. Leaders in the civil aviation industry recognize many contributing factors and are willing to millions of dollars on facilities to keep pace with the trend. These companies see the direction of the Philippine government, growth in infrastructure projects, job creation patterns, multi-national company development in the area, tourism growth and the transfer of industrialized product manufacturing centers to the Asia Pacific Region. Given all of these factors, the strategic importance of Clark for the near future is fully detailed. The infrastructure is here or coming, the future is obvious, DMIA and the Clark Freeport Zones are the next boom areas of Southeast Asia.
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