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7 NAIA flights diverted to Clark airport

CLARK FREEPORT Pampanga , Philippines   – Seven flights were diverted to the Clark International Airport (CIA) here last Wednesday afternoon amid air traffic congestion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila.

“Aircraft initially headed to NAIA started arriving here at about 2:50 p.m. after NAIA authorities alerted airport officers here about the flight diversions,” said Victor Jose Luciano, president and chief executive officer of the Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC).

He said “air congestion” at the NAIA was given as the reason for the diversion of flights.

The diverted aircraft were an Airbus A320 of Zest Air from Kota Kinabalu, Cebu Pacific’s Airbus A320 from Singapore and Davao, Etihad Airlines B777 from Abu Dhabi, Airphil Express A320 from Cagayan de Oro City, a Dash-8 aircraft from Naga City, and Singapore Airlines’ Airbus 330 from Singapore.

Luciano said all the aircraft landed smoothly at the airport here.

He said the Clark International Airport, rated Category 9 by the International Civil Aviation Organization, “is always ready to accommodate small and wide-bodied aircraft.”

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“The CIAC management is gearing for a Category 10 rating which is the highest in the world for an airport,” Luciano said.

In 1994, then President Fidel Ramos issued an executive order designating Clark as the future site of the country’s premier gateway. Since President Aquino assumed power, however, the plan seemed to have been relegated to the backburner.

Meanwhile, Luciano said the CIAC would purchase two brand-new rapid-fire trucks to beef up its emergency capabilities to handle even the largest aircraft in the world such as the Airbus A380 and Boeing 777.

The Clark International Airport hosts various carriers such as Emirates Airlines that flies non-stop daily to Dubai, Qatar Airways that also flies daily to Doha, Asiana Airlines that flies daily to Incheon, Dragonair to Hong Kong, Jin Air to Incheon, Cebu Pacific to Hong Kong, Singapore, and Macau, and Tiger Air Philippines to Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, and Macau.

The airport here also has domestic flights to Cebu and Kalibo.

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