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Luis Campos pushes for Clark Airport as alternative to NAIA after runway mishap

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There is a pressing need to develop the Clark International Airport in Pampanga as an alternate gateway following the runway mishap last Friday that caused widespread flight disruptions at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), Makati City Rep. Luis Campos said.

In a statement on Saturday, Campos said the Clark International Airport should continuously be upgraded and expanded so it can accommodate a greater number of international and domestic flights.

“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 said.

Several flights coming from overseas were redirected to Clark after a Xiamen Air jet had a “runway excursion” at the NAIA upon landing midnight Thursday and got stuck in a muddy field.

For almost 36 hours, NAIA’s primary runway for twin-aisle aircraft was shut down, leaving the country’s busiest airport operating only with the secondary runway for single-aisle planes.

Some 230 international and domestic flights in and out NAIA were either cancelled, delayed or redirected on Friday alone.

Campos noted that Clark International Airport already has an Instrument Landing System (ILS) that makes it possible for the primary runway to handle flights after 6 p.m.

The ILS enables pilots to conduct a fully automated or instrument approach to landing if they are unable to establish visual contact with the runway, for example, at night or during poor weather conditions.

For 2018, the Department of Transportation has allocated P2.74 billion for the modernization of the Clark International Airport.

Now operating night and day, Clark handled 7,709 domestic flight arrivals and departures that moved 647,929 passengers from January to June this year.