Philippine President Benigno Aquino is now open to the idea of a dual airport system that calls for the upgrade of congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and development of Clark International Airport in Pampanga, two hours north of the Philippine capital Manila.
“President Aquino is now open to the dual airport system. Previously his inclination was to go single wherein everybody goes to Clark,” Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said at the sidelines of a recent forum hosted by the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines.
The transportation department was earlier set to forward to Malacañang three options. The first calls for the transfer of all NAIA flights and operations to Clark, although travel time to Clark was seen as a drawback under this scheme, Abaya said.
The second option is to maintain both Clark and NAIA while preparing for a future replacement for NAIA that is 20 to 30 minutes away.
The third option is to support Clark’s growth and allow the use of NAIA to be maximized until 2025 while at the same time observing market reaction to the set-up over the next few years.