Arroyo backs Clark as alternative gateway

MANILASpeaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Friday supported the proposal to use the Clark International Airport (CRK) as an alternative to the congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

In an ambush interview after conducting relief operations in Porac, Pampanga, Arroyo said she has been pushing for CRK as an alternative gateway even before the NAIA runway mishap happened last week.

"Actually, I have been for it and it's not because of any specific knee-jerk reaction to any event," Arroyo said.

"The terminal is under construction as we speak, scheduled for inauguration in 2020," she added.

The new Clark terminal is expected to accommodate 10 to 12 million passengers annually from the current 2.5 million passengers per year.

Makati City Rep. Luis Campos Jr. earlier stressed the importance of developing CRK as an alternative airport.

We are all for the continuous upgrading and expansion of Clark so that it can easily accommodate a greater number of international as well as domestic flights, Campos said.

We really have to build up Clark to decongest the NAIA, which is bursting at the seams in terms of aircraft and passenger traffic, he added.

Campos noted that the Department of Transportation is already spending PHP2.74 billion this year to further modernize Clark.

Thousands of passengers were affected and many flights were either cancelled or diverted as runway 06/24 was closed when Xiamen Air flight MF8667 skidded off last August 16 due to the heavy rains.

Philippine aviation authorities and representatives from Xiamen Air already met last August 20 to probe the incident. An investigation is still ongoing.

Xiamen Air apologized for the incident through its social media account last August 20. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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