CLARK FREEPORT -- The SIA Engineering Philippines, in partnership with Cebu Pacific Air, will lead Thursday the groundbreaking rites for the establishment of a US$100-million Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility at the Clark Civil Aviation Complex here. Officials of the Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) led by president Victor Jose Luciano, SIA Engineering Company headed by president William Tan and Cebu Pacific president Lance Gokongwei will lead the ceremony as well as the time capsule-laying for the multi-million dollar project.
The MRO facility will service long-haul commercial aircraft at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA), which is being eyed as the next premier gateway of the Philippines. "The MRO fulfills the vision of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to make Clark a leading world-class service hub in the Asia Pacific Region," Luciano said. Gokongwei said the world-class MRO facility at Clark will further enhance aerospace in the Philippines. "With SIA Engineering Company's MRO proficiency, we will certainly develop the local talent pool of aerospace management and engineering personnel," he said. He added that a heavy maintenance facility in the Philippines will significantly enhance Cebu Pacific Air's dispatch reliability and engineering quality. SIA Engineering (Philippines) Corporation is 65-percent owned by the SIA Engineering Company (SIAEC). Cebu Pacific Air has a 35-percent stake in the joint venture. Expected to attend the ground-breaking ceremonies are SIAEC Senior Vice-President (SVP) for Services Chan Seng Yong; SVP for Line Maintenance and Business Development Jack Kho; SVP for Aircraft and Component Services Ivan Neo; General Manager for the Philippines Lim Kim Yong; JG Summit Chairman Emeritus John Gokongwei; and, JG Summit Chairman James Co. Other CIAC officials who will accompany Luciano are Executive Vice-President Alexander Cauguiran; Vice-President for Operations and General Manager Bienvenido Manga; Vice-President for Administration and Finance Romeo Dyoco Jr.; and CIAC Board Chairman Nestor Mangio. The project involves the construction of three large hangars that will service long-haul commercial aircraft at a 10-hectare property inside the airport. The first hangar will service narrow-bodied aircraft such as the Airbus 320 while the second and third will service wide-bodied aircraft like the Boeing 747s and 777s. The facility will generate at least 1,000 jobs in the construction phase. It is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2009. The MRO will complement the development of the DMIA as a logistic and service hub as envisioned by Arroyo. Luciano stressed that the MRO is an integral part of the operations of the DMIA because it can now handle the maintenance, repair and overhaul of legacy carriers in the Asian region. A part of the Singapore Airlines Group, SIAEC provides maintenance services for the more than 60 international carriers operating at Singapore's Changi International Airport, including airframe and component overhaul on some of the most advanced, widely-used commercial aircraft in the world. SIAEC's line maintenance support extends to more than 40 countries such as Australia, China, Indonesia and the Philippines. SIAEC services at least 80 international carriers and aerospace equipment manufacturers. It has 20 certifications from airworthiness authorities around the world with six hangars and 22 in-house workshops in Singapore, which provide complete MRO services in airframe, component, engine, aircraft conversions and modifications for major airlines from four continents. In April 4, 2008, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between CIAC, SIAEC, and Cebu Pacific Air for the establishment of a world-class MRO facility at the Clark airport. The agreement was signed during the inauguration of the expanded DMIA Passenger Terminal in the presence of the President.