Airport Operations Department
Submitted by: Armie Joy G. Cabuso
Submitted to: Mr. Christian Soriano
Clark International Airport Corporation
Abandoning the largest U.S. Air Force Base outside of the continental United States back in 1991 was not an easy task for America. Given the countless industrial/commercial buildings, residential quarters, officers homes, manicured golf courses, road network, two, huge 3.2-kilometer parallel runways capable of landing the space shuttle and over 100 years of U.S. occupation, it quite-possibly would have been easier to pull all the teeth of the resident Generals on-base than to abandon all that Clark Air Base had become to the U.S. Military. This decision to evacuate was not made unilaterally though. Mt Pinatubo had a say in the matter spewing a thick blanket of ash throughout the base. The Philippine Senate also had its input regarding the 100 year U.S. occupation, and, during September 1991, convinced America to turn its back on billions of dollars of infrastructure when they rejected the ratification of the RP-US Military Bases Agreement. Numerous reasons were given for the rejection of this treaty. This was a destructive blow to the Aquino administration, which was very-strongly in favor of maintaining the treaty and the presence of the U.S. Military with its economic benefit to the country. She even called for a referendum by the Filipino people that was later determined as unconstitutional. Several years later, the former US Air Force Military Airlift Wing is now experiencing some major and exciting transformational processes, all without the presence or assistance of a super power. Since 1996, as a subsidiary of the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA), the runways, airport buildings, infrastructure and surrounding areas of this former military installation is managed by and in the capable-hands of the Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC). From the beginning of the transformation, CIAC has provided the organizational and management arm for the daunting job of transforming a former military airfield into a world-class international airport and logistics hub. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, in recognition of her father and former president of the Philippines, renamed the facility, Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA). Today it stands in honor to her father’s past administration and as a bright hope to current and future generations as a newly revitalized Philippine gateway, providing sustained commercial, industrial and tourism growth in the face of a new world economy.
From humble beginnings in 2003 of only 7,880 international passengers, to over half a million passengers making their way through DMIA in 2007, this airport is an overwhelming success story in all of Asian airport history. As the long-term plans for this facility to be the premier gateway of the Philippines progress, projected estimates range from 20 million to 40 million passengers passing-through the new DMIA annually at fruition of the project.
On October 29, 2003, Asiana Airlines had the honor to be the first airline to established international flights in and out of Clark. These flights brought tourists and businessmen to and from Incheon, South Korea. This initiated a new wave of international flights that has blossomed-forth ever since. Some of the international destinations currently being serviced from DMIA include Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, Macau, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Seoul Korea. Cebu, Caticlan are the current domestic travel offerings at Clark Airport.
South Korean tourists began to discover the Philippines, and specifically, Clark and Subic Bay in ever-growing numbers. In fact, according to the Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT), today they constitute the leading group of tourist by nationality in the Philippines. According to the DOT, the number of...