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Business

Government to pitch Clark as new aviation hub

Elijah Felice Rosales - The Philippine Star
Government to pitch Clark as new aviation hub
Led by the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the Philippine delegation will hold a series of talks with aviation investors from around the globe beginning today, Feb. 20, at the Singapore Airshow 2024.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines will pitch Clark International Airport as the next Asian hub for aerospace investments in one of the largest aviation events this year.

Led by the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the Philippine delegation will hold a series of talks with aviation investors from around the globe beginning today, Feb. 20, at the Singapore Airshow 2024.

The DOTr and Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) will pitch the viability of the Clark airport to maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) providers.

The agencies will also try to convince additional airlines to mount flights from the airport based 80 kilometers away from Manila. Likewise, they will make a presentation before cargo operators in line with the goal of building in Clark the largest food trading hub in the Philippines.

The DOTr will dangle during the meetings a menu of incentives that investors may secure from locating in Clark International Airport. Specifically, locators may be entitled to up to seven years of income tax holiday and a preferential tax rate of five percent afterward.

Clark International Airport currently hosts a number of aerospace investors such as MRO giant SIA Engineering, which maintains and repairs airframes, and Metrojet Ltd., which takes care of business jets.

The local unit of Lufthansa Technik will also spend at least P15 billion to construct new hangars in Clark, citing its advantage of hosting the Clark International Airport.

Clark-based developer Berthaphil Inc., one of the pioneer investors in the airport, will also pitch its property projects at the airshow that will run until Feb. 25.

Berthaphil chairman Michael Herman said the company would offer a vacant 10-hectare airfield at the Clark aviation complex that has access to the runway. Herman noted that investors no longer need to outsource workers if they locate in Clark, as the country produces aviation talents sought after by foreign markets.

Herman said the Philippines exports MRO talents to places such as Singapore, Hong Kong and the Middle East. Apart from the labor pool, he noted that the airport is linked to several destinations abroad, reaching as far as the Middle East.

In 2023, Clark International Airport facilitated the travel of about two million passengers, and the CIAC hopes the gateway can double that to four million this year.

The CIAC serves as the government-run firm tasked to run the Clark Civil Aviation Complex, an area spanning 2,367 hectares where the Clark International Airport is situated.

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