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Clark seen as Asia’s next 'aerotropolis'

An official of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) on Monday cited the huge potential of Clark as Asia’s next aerotropolis as development of the Clark International Airport and New Clark City go into full swing.

Joshua Bingcang, BCDA Senior Vice President for Business Development and Operations Group, said during the kickoff of the first Aeromart Summit held in Quest Hotel here, that construction of both the Clark airport and New Clark City are already underway.

Aerotropolis is the concept of developing a city with an international airport at its center.

Bingcang also said that the New Clark City is being built as a "thriving city" with mixed-use of residential, commercial, and educational institutions, and other information technology developments.

DOTr Undersecretary for Aviation and Airports Manuel Tamayo also cited that the Clark International Airport registered an all-time high of 1.5 million passengers in 2017, making the airport the country's next premier gateway.

Meanwhile, Trade Undersecretary and Board of Investments (BOI) managing head Ceferino Rodolfo said the Philippines’ hosting of this summit launches the country’s aerospace industry as “we showcase our readiness and capabilities to absorb the global demands and highlighting the emerging aerospace cluster in Clark.”

The local industry’s capabilities include aerospace manufacturing, aircraft maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) and aviation training.

“Our vision is for the local industry to be a recognized partner in maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) and aerospace manufacturing in the Asia Pacific Region,” Rodolfo said.

The three-day Aeromart Summit Clark 2018 gathered hundreds of aerospace and aviation industry authorities, suppliers, sub-contractors, exhibitors with selling capabilities or services in sales, marketing, business development, and technical promotion, as well as buyers, contractors, decision makers seeking commodities or capabilities for the supply chain, procurement, purchasing, engineering, fabrication and research & development.

The activities of Aeromart Summit Clark 2018 include a plenary conference at the Quest Hotel, here and an exhibition, business meetings, and workshops to be held in the next two days, June 5 and 6, at the ASEAN Convention Center.

Site visits to local aerospace companies are also scheduled on June 6.

Marna Dagumboy Del Rosario / PNA