Thursday, May 22, 2008

Philippines Canada sign air rights deal

MANILA, Philippines--Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) scored a victory for the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) by obtaining an agreement for unlimited all-cargo flights between Clark and Canada, with fifth freedom rights thrown in."(It is) very positive for Clark.
Canada recognized the thrust of DMIA as a logistics hub so it is going to grant liberal all-cargo rights between Clark and Canada with fifth freedom rights," CIAC president Victor Jose Luciano told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in a text message shortly after the completion of the RP-Canada cargo air talks in Vancouver during the weekend.

Under an agreement signed at the meeting, the two countries will allow at least one flight daily with no capacity limit.As much as 200 tons of cargo can be flown daily by the airlines of both countries. They can also lift and deliver cargo coming from a third country, under fifth freedom rights.
CIAC has long anticipated cargo growth in Clark, which is being positioned as a logistics hub. Clark's DMIA is preparing to develop an P8-billion new complex in anticipation of a boom in both cargo and passenger volumes.The proposed area for Terminal 2 would have ancillary facilities, including a ramp, parking, express and general freight facilities and heavy aircraft maintenance area.

There should also be a cargo terminal, especially in anticipation of the entry of large aircraft. Terminal 2 will have the tubes and air bridges for that, and the cargo terminal beside it will take care of the cargo.Clark's agreement with Canada adds momentum to the government's thrust to draw more cargo traffic through the Philippines to spur more business for airlines, multi-modal logistics providers, small cargo players and allied businesses such as aircraft repair.

In April 2008, Singapore Airlines Engineering Co. (SIAEC), part of the Singapore Airlines Group that provides maintenance services to Singapore's Changi Airport, said it was planning to infuse $100 million into a project involving the setting up of a world-class aircraft repair facility at the DMIA complex.

The Philippines is also gearing for Asia-wide cargo liberalization.The government nominated PAL and Pacific East Asia Cargo Airlines as the country's official carriers under an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) memorandum of agreement for liberalized airfreight services.
The Civil Aviation Board (CAB) said in May 2007 that the memorandum allowed designated airlines of each Asean member to operate all-cargo services up to 100 tons weekly with no limitation on frequency and aircraft type

By Riza T. Olchondra
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 18:21:00 05/18/2008

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