Friday, 23 January 2009

Philippines' Clark airport seen to draw 1M people despite slump

Jacob Cunanan
The Business Mirror

CLARK FREE PORT, Pampanga—Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) president Victor Jose Luciano said there is every reason to expect the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) will be able to generate at least 800,000 to 1 million international passengers this year despite the global economic recession.

“[The] DMIA will fly higher than 2008, especially now that there is more interest from airlines. We will try to reach 1 million international passengers this year,” he said on Monday at the launching of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001:2008 project for the airport at the Mimosa Convention Center here.

Several airlines operate at the 2,300-hectare Clark Civil Aviation Complex that houses the DMIA, among which are Tiger Airways of Singapore flying the Clark-Singapore route, Air Asia of Malaysia that flies to Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu; Asiana Airlines that flies to Incheon, South Korea; local carrier Cebu Pacific Air to Hong Kong, Thailand, Macau and Singapore; and South East Asian Airlines (Seair) that flies to Caticlan.

The Spirit of Manila and Zest Air (formerly Asian Spirit) are slated to mount flights from the DMIA this year, an event expected to boost the development of the airport.

The DMIA, averaging at least 77 international and domestic flights per week, has become one of the busiest airports in the country, boosting the vision of President Arroyo to make it the country’s premier international airport.

The launching of the ISO-9001:2008 project for the DMIA is aimed at improving the delivery of services, especially in passenger facilitation, for the airport to become globally competitive.

“This ISO project will further improve the quality of service at the airport, a move that will put us on a par with the leading airports in the world,” said Luciano.

“A quality management system [QMS] improves business operations; creates a positive effect on investment and growth; and establishes a competitive advantage for CIAC. With a QMS in place, CIAC will be focused toward achieving its quality goals,” added Luciano.

The ISO committee, headed by Romeo Dyoco Jr., a CIAC vice president, has already been formed and is composed of employees from various departments.

The ISO 9001:2008 program is in accordance with Executive Order 605 and Administrative Order 161 directing government agencies, including government-owned and -controlled corporations and government financial institutions to adopt the ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System program.

The launching of the ISO certification project was attended by executive vice-president Alexander Cauguiran, and Clark Development Corp. directors Max Sangil and Frankie Villanueva, Clark Locators and Locators Association (CILA) president Jeannie del Rosario-Ng, among others.

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