The Asian Business Aviation Association (AsBAA), Asia’s non-profit association for business and general aviation (BA/GA), led a delegation of its members on a site visit and investment trip to the Philippines, 24-26 January 2018. At the two-day event, 18 members of AsBAA were given an audience with various Philippine airport and freeport authorities, regulators, and local stakeholders of the BA/GA community. The visit was arranged by AsBAA Philippine Chapter with a view to advancing infrastructure for BA/GA in the country.
At the meeting, AsBAA and its members met with high-level government representatives, including Mr. Jose De Jesus and Mr. Noel Manankil, Chairman and President of the Clark Development Corporation (CDC), respectively, Mr. Alexander Cauguiran, President of Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC), and Ms. Wilma Eisma, Chair of Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).
In addition to ascertaining opportunities for future infrastructure development, a key objective of the trip was to work with the authorities to find workable solutions to the current congestion issues in Manila. A joint meeting was held by AsBAA with the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) in which both bodies recognised the congestion issues at NAIA and the need to look for alternative locations, which could include a redistribution plan to Clark or Subic. Both locations were also noted to be better situated to withstand earthquakes and flooding.
While this exploratory phase for new facilities continues, AsBAA members were also provided with updates on the current situation for BA/GA in Manila. The situation at NAIA remains congested, with 40 movements per hour, two of which are available for BA/GA use (priority given to commercial airlines). The authorities have pledged to put in place short and mid-term solutions while longer-term development discussions are underway. From mid-April 2018, this will include an additional two movements per hour added as a result of the expansion of the rapid exit taxiways. A new country-wide communication navigation surveillance and air traffic management system has also been recently introduced to improve overall operational efficiency. CAAP expressed to AsBAA and its delegates at the meeting that it is interested to hear about international industry-specific standards, e.g., IS-BAO, to better regulate GA/BA operations.
Looking ahead to longer-term solutions, the delegation visited two potential sites for BA/GA development at Clark and Subic. Clark Airport’s current passenger terminal has a four million passenger capacity. The master plan for Clark also includes 24 hectares of land for dedicated FBO/GA/BA use. CIAC recognised that the current space allocated for FBO use may not be sufficient for the long term and could be benchmarked with other global GA/BA facilities. At full-phase build-out, Clark Airport is said to be capable of accommodating 80 million passengers per year (more than double that of NAIA).
CDC shared its plans to develop the airport area, which consists of 2,300 hectares, construct a “New Clark City”, a smart, green hub of mixed infrastructure and facilities, and create a railway system to provide fast transit between Manila and Clark. CDC also plans to designate a location for world-class sporting facilities to host the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
Another potential site for future development is Subic Bay International Airport (SBIA). The facility was noted as being an underutilised resource that is primed for expansion. It currently has a capacity for six million passengers per year and is capable of VFR 24×7 (runway lights operational); IFR 24×7 (in 2018). SBMA shared its vision for a dedicated facility for BA/GA, and a potential expansion area of an additional 200 hectares around the perimeter of the airport to allow for future growth.
The site visit and meetings were concluded with positive feedback from the authorities, attendees, and AsBAA as facilitators. A series of follow-up meetings between AsBAA and CAAP, MIAA, CDC, CIAC, and SBMA will be held in the coming weeks and months to ensure business and general aviation issues are addressed.
CAAP = Civil Aviation Authority
MIAA = Manila International Airport Authority
NAIA = Ninoy Aquino International Airport
CRK = Clark Airport
CDC = Clark Development Corporation
CIAC = Clark International Airport Corporation
SBMA = Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority
SBIA = Subic Bay International Airport
If you are interested in learning more about AsBAA’s work in the Philippines or elsewhere in Asia, please get in touch. The presentations from the investment trip are available for member’s to view on the AsBAA website. AsBAA wishes to recognise and thank both Air Juan and INAEC for organising very special transport arrangements for the participants.