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Old June 21st, 2010, 11:06 AM   #561
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PGMA set to inaugurate Kalibo International Airport new terminal building
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ILOILO CITY, June 21 (PNA) – President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is tentatively scheduled to inaugurate on June 23, 2010 the new two-storey terminal building of the Kalibo International Airport.

Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) manager Efren Nagrama said that after the inauguration, the new terminal building will serve the passengers of international flights coming in to Aklan province, where Boracay Island the premier tourist destination is located.

Nagrama said that there are now six to 10 international flights per week coming in from South Korea, Taipei and China to the Kalibo International Airport.

He said that the new terminal building constructed by the International Builders Corporation has amenities fit for foreign tourists with a big conveyor and weighing scale. It could also house the offices of international airlines.

With the inauguration of the new terminal building, the old terminal building will now be used by domestic passengers only.
http://www.pna.gov.ph/index.php?idn=&nid=2&rid=282837
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Old June 25th, 2010, 03:42 AM   #562
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OFFICIAL AIRLINE GUIDE REPORTS
PAL is top RP carrier from Manila

MANILA, Philippines—Philippine Airlines has been the leading Philippine carrier, in terms of flights and seat capacity, operating out of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) for the last two years, the aviation industry’s main data keeper Official Airline Guide (OAG) reports.

In a survey of the top airports in the Asia-Pacific region, OAG data show that NAIA’s four terminals handled 1,859 flights per week in 2009, an increase of 12 percent over the 1,654 flights per week handled in 2008.

These flights resulted in 309,616 seats per week flown by all airlines using the NAIA complex in 2009—11 percent more than the 278,130 seats per week flown in 2008.

Of this traffic volume, PAL had a market-leading share of 35 percent of all flights per week and 38 percent of all seats flown per week at the country’s premier airport in 2009, OAG reports.

Both figures represented increases over the 33 percent and 37 percent shares, respectively, that PAL posted in 2008, it added.

In contrast, PAL’s main local competitor was a far second in both categories. The budget airline managed only a 32-percent share in flights per week and 28 percent in seats per week in 2009, according to OAG.

For 2008, the corresponding figures for the secondary carrier were 28 percent and 25 percent, respectively.

The results of the OAG survey are contained in the current issue (second quarter, 2010) of Routes News, a leading industry journal published in the United Kingdom.

Established in 1853, OAG is best known for its extensive airline schedules database. This vast catalogue holds information from more than 900 airlines and 3,500 airports worldwide.
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Old June 25th, 2010, 03:45 AM   #563
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Airport execs optimistic RP won’t suffer aviation downgrade
By Jerome Aning
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 22:09:00 06/21/2010

Filed Under: Air Transport

MANILA, Philippines – Airport authorities are optimistic that the Philippine aviation industry would not suffer another downgrading or blacklisting by foreign governments and international organizations following the failure over the weekend of a navigational equipment at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

“I don't think we [will] be downgraded. What they measure is how fast we remedy a situation like this. And the navigation system is only of the things they evaluate,” Manila International Airport Authority general manager Melvin Matibag told reporters.

For failing to satisfy international standards, the Philippine aviation sector was placed three years ago under Category 2 by the United States Federal Aviation Authority. Three months ago, the European Union's air safety committee, citing similar reasons, forbade Philippine planes from traveling to Europe and discouraged Europeans from traveling in Philippine airlines.

NAIA's Doppler Very High Frequency Omni-Directional Radio Range (DVOR), which helps pilots take off or land during nighttime, low visibility and bad weather, failed on Saturday, leading one major airline to suspend most of its flights.

However, the MIAA, a government corporation that operates NAIA, said passengers have no reason to worry because there were other navigation aids that pilots could use in landing and taking off, such as the radar and a device called distance-measuring equipment.

In the meantime, the agency borrowed spare parts from the Subic International Airport to repair the NAIA DVOR, which would have to be reconfigured to NAIA settings and then tested.

For this reason, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, which regulates air travel in the country, extended its notice-to-airmen up to 4 p.m. Tuesday warning the aviation industry about the failure of the DVOR.

The CAAP said it was up to the airline companies if they allow their pilots to proceed to land at the airport even with the limited navigational aids. The MIAA said that a a contingency measure, planes that are unable to land due to bad weather or poor visibility would be diverted to neighboring airports.

There were no diverted or canceled flights yesterday.

Meanwhile, Matibag said the MIAA is ready to purchase a new DVORm worth about $90 million, if the NAIA unit would not be fixed. The agency may also consider buying more modern navigation equipment if it deems necessary.

The DVOR station in NAIA was installed in 1996; it has a shelf life of 15 years. The DVOR unit was scheduled to be replaced in 2011.

Matibag said the procurement would take about two weeks.

Insiders in the aviation industry said MIAA and CAAP officials, particularly the career executives, are rushing to resolve the situation before the assumption of a new administration on June 30.

“They're moving heaven and earth to fix the DVOR or buy a new one and are begging airlines left and right not to be overly worried about safety. They fear they would be fired, transferred or demoted if the next administration rules that they were incompetent in handling the problem,” said one airport official.
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Old June 25th, 2010, 03:48 AM   #564
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Get our airport to world-class standards
DEMAND AND SUPPLY By Boo Chanco (The Philippine Star) Updated June 23, 2010 12:00 AM

As I write this column in Singapore, I am worried if I can get home as scheduled. Over the weekend, the radar system that guides airlines using instrument landing at NAIA broke down. They have borrowed the radar of Subic and expect to get it running Monday morning. But who knows if the Subic radar will work after it has been reinstalled at NAIA. Chances are it was also not properly maintained at Subic.

I understand the NAIA radar is old and unreliable because it had not been properly maintained. It is a very important piece of equipment that must be working all the time but our officials made no provisions for a redundancy in our system. To add insult to injury, our airport authorities said the problem that caused flights to be cancelled and diverted to other airports was “a minor problem.”

Tell that to the thousands of passengers who were stranded and left hungry at the airport. Tell that too to the airlines who lost money because the airport was closed forcing flights to be cancelled or diverted to other airports. You have to be a heartless and stupid bureaucrat to call that situation “a minor problem.”

According to the Air Navigation Service of the Civil Aeronautics Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), their radar’s antenna tuning unit went off and they were clueless why it happened. That malfunctioning facility provides an aircraft with bearing information from a fixed geographical point, enabling pilots to determine their relative direction to or from the station. Without it, the pilot of an aircraft cannot land safely at night and during bad weather conditions when visibility is low. And they call it a minor problem?

This is absolutely stupid. Here we are trying to attract tourists and investors and we can’t even keep our aviation system working properly. I feel particularly intense about this because I actually had to pay in cash at the airport for the travel tax on the ticket my son sent me. I also had to pay cash for the travel tax on my wife’s ticket which she bought on line. So it isn’t as if they don’t have the money to keep vital tourist facilities running properly.

I realize the travel tax proceeds are used for other purposes, mainly for pork barrel type projects of influential politicians. The money for keeping the facilities in the airport in tip top condition comes from the national budget. But if the budgetary allocation isn’t enough to get a reliable radar system, money from the travel tax, from Pagcor or from other discretionary funds of Malacañang should be tapped.

There is absolutely no reason to look like a miserable third world country in darkest Africa who can’t afford a freaking navigational system for its airport. It is bad enough our terminal building is an embarrassing abomination, but putting the safety and convenience of air travelers at risk with a less than reliable radar system is the height of criminal incompetence on the part of our officials.

It isn’t as if this is the first time this happened or that this happens only once in a while. I still remember a recent power blackout at the airport control tower caused by a faulty UPS or a supposedly Uninterruptible Power Supply. And don’t forget the flooding of the runways that happen during heavy rains.

Look at the damage on the first afternoon alone. According to CAAP, 60 domestic flights of Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Cebu Pacific Airways had been cancelled. A PAL flight from Fukuoka, Japan to Manila was diverted to the Clark International Airport in Pampanga, and a Dragonair flight from Hong Kong to Manila was cancelled. I understand officials have refused to give media data on the flight cancellations of other foreign airlines. Minor problem lang daw!

This horrible mess at the airport, plus the downgrade of the country by the US FAA and the European aviation agency too, should be blamed on Ate Glue’s favorite cabinet member: Leandro Mendoza. He has been at the DOTC post for so long and all he was ever interested in was the National Broadband project. Now whoever takes his place in P-Noy’s cabinet will be facing an emergency situation.

The thing is, it isn’t easy to remedy such problems in our critical infrastructure facilities. Vital navigational equipment like that radar that failed must be ordered ahead of time. In the meantime, we will have to put together what we have with masking tape and superglue and pray fervently that everything holds together until we get our new equipment.

This is really the failure of Ate Glue. She can find money to gallivant around the world and eat at Le Cirque but fail on the absolute necessary stuff like a reliable airport radar system. To add insult to miserable injury, we are forced to watch commercials that proclaim her claimed accomplishments. I know I am glad to see her go but the consequences of her nine years of failures will linger on for quite sometime.
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Old June 27th, 2010, 10:03 AM   #565
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Philippine Airlines expands Aussie market
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BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – Philippine Airlines (PAL) has increased its fiscal year 2010 target revenues for Australia from $42 million last fiscal year to $64 million in 2010, expecting a huge growth after forging partnerships with the biggest tour operators and growing demand from non-Filipinos.

“We are optimistic about our targets because of higher and better carriage with our new Airbus A330 planes. Our market has also expanded after Brisbane was added to our route,” explained Arnul Pan, Philippine Airlines (PAL) Country Manager, Australia.

“We expect an over 10 percent increase of passenger traffic from Australia to the Philippines this year,” Pan said.

PAL started its flights to Brisbane this March 17, 2010. In all, the flag carrier services 3 Australian destinations Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Queensland is home to around 70,000 overseas Filipinos, of which some 18,000 had been born in Australia. “Our market has been concentrated on VFR – Visiting Friends and Relatives and we dealt only with small tour wholesalers until we started new partnerships this year with the biggest tourist operators in Australia, such as Infinity, Viva Holidays and The Specialists,” he said.

Now, Infinity is aggressively selling Philippine destinations, such as Boracay, Bohol and Palawan in the local media.

PAL’s Australian market is growing steadily. Whereas before, the carrier focused on first generation Filipino immigrants in the country, now they are also seeing demand coming from second and third generation Filipinos in the continent those who were born in Australia who had never been in the Philippines.

“We are also aiming at the non-Filipino tourist market,” Pan added. More Australians are investing in the Philippines, specifically in the BPO sector.

Overall, PAL serves 44 destinations, 20 domestic and 26 international points in 14 countries and territories. The airline operate an all-jet fleet of 41 aircraft: five Boeing 747-400s, two Boeing 777-300ERs, four Airbus 340-300s, eight Airbus 330-300s, 18 Airbus 320-200s and four Airbus 319s, one of the best-maintained fleet in the region.
http://mb.com.ph/articles/263965/phi...-aussie-market
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Old June 27th, 2010, 10:22 AM   #566
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PAL's website is TOO outdated. It operates like it's still in the floppy disk era! They should make it more similar to Cathay Pacific's or Qantas'. Anybody else opine the same way?
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Old June 28th, 2010, 06:33 AM   #567
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Asia's first airport service for VIPs, celebrities to rise in Clark
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Clark Airbase, Pampanga (28 June) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo Saturday laid the time capsule that signals the start of the work on VIP Jet Services Inc, an ultra-modern facility for prominent personalities and their private aircraft preferring to have privacy during airport arrival at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport at Clark in Pampanga.

The exclusive facility is the first of its kind in Asia and is ran by the same family that owns the VIP center in the Van Nuys, California. This facility is expected to turn the DMIA an "aircraft hub" for small or regional jets for very prominent people who do not want to go through airport hassles.

The President was delighted when told by Dean Cambe Sr., owner of America-based VIP Jet Services Inc. that it was only during her administration that the company was finally able to get the required permits for its Philippine operations.

"I hope Madam President that the incoming administration will share your vision and passion to get foreign investors into the country and that we will be able to go ahead with our plan to operate this facility by the middle of 2012. Maybe, Madam President, you will continue to support us and help us in our needs," Cambe said during his briefing to President Arroyo.

Cambe said he has high hopes that the incoming Aquino administration will similarly encourage them further to do business here.

"I hope the new administration will carry on everything that was started. It is for all of us. If we fail then we all lose," Cambe said.

"At VIP we have aircraft charter services, we fix and fuel the aircraft, we also have aircraft sales," Cambe said.

First phase of this project is the setting up the P30 million building and then the tooling as well, Cambe said.

Cambe said VIPs and celebrities come in with their private jets and security, we will take them to limousines with the bodyguards. The VIP facility also has suites where the guests could stay overnight.

Cambe, a Filipino-American, left the Philippines in 1973 and joined the US Navy and now manage several companies in the United States. His two sons and another American partner are helping him in the project.

The Philippine facility will be company?s largest with 10 hectares.
http://pia.gov.ph/?m=12&fi=p100628.htm&no=20
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Old June 28th, 2010, 08:13 AM   #568
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Plane fare sale on
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MANILA—Philippine Airlines offers a major seat sale on all its domestic routes for the inaugural of Senator Benigno Aquino III when he takes his oath as the country’s 15th president, the airline company said in a news release.

Dubbed “Fly the Flag with the Nation’s Leader,” the promotion slashes one-way, economy-class fares on flights between Manila and any destination in Luzon or Visayas to P888, and between Manila and any Mindanao point to P1,888. Tickets for Cebu-Davao, v.v., are also slashed to P888.

The promo fares already include value-added tax but do not cover airport (ASF) and ticketing service fees. They are available for sale online and at PAL ticket offices and travel agents until June 30, 2010.
http://globalnation.inquirer.net/ceb...e-fare-sale-on
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Old July 1st, 2010, 09:22 AM   #569
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San Miguel eyes Clark airport expansion
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DIVERSIFIED CONGLOMERATE San Miguel Corp. is negotiating with corporate rival Metro Pacific Investments Corp. for a $150-million airport project in Central Luzon.

"The company is in talks with Metro Pacific with respect to the construction of a modern terminal building at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in the Clark Free Port, Angeles City, Pampanga," San Miguel told the local bourse on Thursday.

The airport project, which will include a modern passenger terminal and a high-speed railway linked to Metro Manila, is estimated to cost $150 million.

San Miguel, in its diversification from slow but stable core businesses of food and beverage into high growth sectors like power, infrastructure and telecommunications, has been competing head-on with Metro Pacific.

Class "A" and "B" shares in San Miguel, whose profit rose by 7% to P2.9 billion in the first quarter amid strong sales performances of beer and hard liquor, were unchanged on Thursday at P70 each.

Metro Pacific is the Philippine unit of Hong Kong’s First Pacific Co. Ltd., part owner of Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) Co. Mediaquest Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT’s Beneficial Trust Fund, has a minority stake in BusinessWorld.
http://www.bworldonline.com/main/content.php?id=13502
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Old July 4th, 2010, 10:22 AM   #570
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PAL sees revenues from Australian operations reaching $60 million this year
By Mary Ann LL. Reyes (The Philippine Star) Updated June 30, 2010 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Philippine Airlines (PAL) expects revenues from its operations in Australia to reach $60 million for the current fiscal year which began April 1, 2010, compared with around $40 million in the previous year.

PAL country manager for Australia and New Zealand Arnul Pan said their revenue target represents about four percent of PAL’s total revenues.


Pan explained that the increase in revenues is partly due to the reopening of the Manila-Brisbane-Manila route earlier this year as well as the growing market.

In March, PAL began its service to Brisbane after a 12-year absence, tapping the huge Filipino migrant community in Queensland, as well as the leisure, business and cargo traffic out of the state.

The airline also flies to Sydney and Melbourne.

Meanwhile, PAL announced a major seat sale on all its domestic routes as it salutes the inauguration of the nation’s new President.

Dubbed “Fly the Flag with the Nation’s Leader,” the promotion slashes one-way, economy-class fares on flights between Manila and any destination in Luzon or Visayas to P888, and between Manila and any Mindanao point to P1,888. Tickets for Cebu-Davao and vice versa are also slashed to P888.

PAL was the leading Philippine carrier in terms of flights and seat capacity operating out of NAIA for the past two years.

The promo fares already include value-added tax but do not cover airport (ASF) and ticketing service fees. They are available for sale online and at PAL ticket offices and travel agents until June 30, 2010

Tickets bought on these fares are valid for travel between July 1 and October 15, 2010 . Travel must be completed by October 15, 2010.

PAL flies to three points in Luzon (Laoag, Legaspi, Puerto Princesa), eight in the Visayas (Bacolod , Cebu , Dumaguete, Iloilo, Kalibo, Roxas, Tacloban, Tagbilaran) and eight in Mindanao (Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Cotabato, Davao, Dipolog, General Santos, Ozamiz, Zamboanga).

Since its founding in March 1941, PAL has been the official carrier of Philippine presidents on state visits and important trips.

PAL also announced that close to 40,000 passengers availed of Philippine Airlines’ recent Independence Day seat sale, making them one of the flag carrier’s most successful promotions.

PAL ran a number of discounted-fare promotions in the days leading up to the 112 th anniversary of Philippine independence last June 12.

The major promo, dubbed “Fly the Flag,” was a novel series of one-day sale covering 12 domestic and international destinations selected for their historical significance. It drew many thousands of passengers, mostly domestic travelers.
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Old July 4th, 2010, 10:24 AM   #571
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40,000 passengers avail of PAL's seat sales
By EDU H. LOPEZ
June 30, 2010, 4:23pm

Close to 40,000 passengers availed of the Philippine Airlines’ (PAL) recent Independence Day seat sales, making them one of the flag carrier’s most successful promotions.

PAL ran a number of discounted-fare promotions in the days leading up to the 112th anniversary of Philippine independence last June 12.


The major promo, dubbed “Fly the Flag,” was a novel series of one-day sales covering 12 domestic and international destinations selected for their historical significance. It drew many thousands of passengers, mostly domestic travelers.

Of the 12 destinations included in the promo, the Manila-Bacolod vice versa route was by far the most popular, attracting the most bargain seekers. The Cebu route came next, followed by Tagbilaran.

On the international side, Singapore drew the most promo-fare customers followed by Ho Chi Minh City, Sydney and Taipei.

Another PAL promo, called “Proud and Free,” offered similarly deeply discounted fares to 23 international destinations. This one pulled thousands of passengers, mostly bound for Singapore and Hong Kong.

The success of both seat sales has encouraged PAL to develop and launch more promotions in the coming months as the flag carrier continues its year-long “Soaring to 70” marketing campaign.
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Old July 4th, 2010, 10:30 AM   #572
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PAL sees growth in Aussie routes

Top News
Written by Lenie lectura / Reporter
Sunday, 27 June 2010 21:42

BRISBANE, Australia—Philippine Airlines (PAL) expects traffic in its Australian destinations to grow by 10 percent and post as much as $60 million in revenues during its fiscal year that starts in March.

PAL flies five times weekly to Sydney and Melbourne and twice a week to Brisbane. It utilizes the Boeing 777 and Airbus A-330 aircraft.

“Our destinations to Australia are making money. We should be able to make more money,” said PAL country manager Arnul Pan.

PAL’s Australia service represents 4 percent of the airline’s total revenue target, added Pan. “We are looking at increasing our traffic here by 10 percent because of our comeback in Brisbane, our new plane the Boeing 777, and the partnerships we have forged with travel agencies.”

The load factor or the number of seats occupied during a flight for Sydney and Melbourne currently stands at about 80 percent to 85 percent and about 70 percent for its Brisbane route, that reopened in March.

“It depends on the aircraft that we are using. If we deploy Airbus A-330 then our load factor is at 85 percent but for our Boeing 777 the load factor is 65 percent to 70 percent,” added Pan.

The Airbus A-330 can accommodate 300 passengers while the B-777 can seat 376 passengers.

“Of the total passengers, 70 percent are Filipinos,” added Pan.

The PAL official said that for now there are enough frequencies to service Australia. “Our flights are enough. We won’t ask yet for additional flights. We are now observing how the market is starting to build up as airlines have just recovered from the global recession,” said Pan.

The restoration of Brisbane to PAL’s network completes the airline’s comeback in Australia, following the return of Sydney and Melbourne in recent years.

The new Brisbane service marks PAL’s return to the Queensland capital after a 12-year absence and underscores the airline’s commitment to its customers in Australia despite the global economic downturn.

With the addition of Brisbane, PAL will restructure its Australian operations. The current daily, same-plane operation to Sydney and Melbourne, which now share a triangulated routing to and from Manila, will be modified.

PAL first flew to Brisbane on June 5, 1985. In succeeding years, the city formed a key part, along with Sydney and Melbourne, of the airline’s multilegged operation to Australia.

But commercial and operational difficulties spawned by the Asian financial crisis of 1997 forced the flag carrier to shut down its Australian services on June 5, 1998.

PAL will also be looking to tap the huge Filipino migrant community in Queensland, as well as the leisure, business and cargo traffic out of the state. The airline sees an opportunity to provide Australian travelers, via PAL’s convenient connections in Manila, services between Brisbane and destinations in North Asia like Japan, China and Korea. Travelers, said the airline, can also expect to shave hours off current travel time to these points.
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Old July 5th, 2010, 01:59 AM   #573
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Thick haze disrupts flight at Naia
Saturday, 03 July 2010 19:46

Thick haze at the premier airport that contributed to poor visibility forced 33 local and foreign flights to seek temporary shelters in Clark Field, Pampanga; Mactan, Cebu; and Iloilo City on Saturday, although the replacement for the navigational aid VOR, the RNAV Global Navigation Satellite System, had been activated on June 29.

However, between 70 to 80 domestic and foreign flights were able to land at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia), using the RNAV as landing aid as of 2 p.m.

“Those not able to land were either not equipped with the Flight Management System [FMS] that is compatible with the RNAV or they are not yet familiar with the new approach procedures,” according to Director Willy Borja, the chief of the Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAAP) Air Traffic Services.

He said that the Caap had already published and distributed the landing procedures using the RNAV through the Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) supplement. The Caap added that cargo carrier FedEx had long been using the RNAV following certification and testing by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Normal operations continue to prevail at the premier airport, while those that had been diverted were waiting for the go-signal to return to Manila, following improvement in visibility.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) office at the Naia Terminal 1 said that Saturday was one of the rare moments when thick haze enveloped the airport area.

“There is too much air pollution in the air caused by the exhaust of vehicles in Metro Manila,” says Maritet Martinez, a Pagasa officer.

She added that smog (smoke and fog) had reduced visibility to 4,000 meters or 4 kilometers, in the airport’s surrounding area.

Air controllers at the Naia continued directing air traffic through radar, although the airport management earlier declared that normal landing procedures would continue for as long as visibility is not less than 5,000 meters or 5 kilometres.

At less than 5-kilometer visibility, the pilot could opt to continue the landing procedure if equipped with the RNAV or divert to the nearest airport, Borja said.

According to Caap Director General Alfonso Cusi, the premier airport’s VHF omnidirectional range (VOR) remains in-and-out of service as technicians continue to test its viability following breakdown on June 19 owing to wear and tear.

He added that the Caap is also looking for a check pilot to calibrate the VOR since its own pilot remains in limbo, undergoing investigation for alleged irregularities.

Records show that eight international flights destined for the Naia Terminal 1 were diverted to Clark but came back later in the day as the weather started to clear. Four other international flights delayed their arrival until the weather had cleared or the visibility allowed by safe landing is within the allowed limit.

Those flights are KLM 803 from Amsterdam, China Airlines 711 from Taipei, Jetstar 561 from Hong Kong, and Philippine Airlines PR 659 from Riyadh, Continental Airlines (PAL) 891 from Hawaii, Qatar 648 from Qatar, Korean Airlines 621 from Seoul and Gulf Air 154 from Dubai.

Twenty-five domestic flights were diverted to Clark—10 from Cebu Pacific, 10 from Pal, and five from Zest Air.

As of 2 p.m. on Saturday, the four delayed flights, two Cathay Pacific jetliners from Hong Kong, an Asiana Airlines flight from Incheon and a Brunei Airlines flight from Brunei were able to land at the Naia without any hitch, Cusi said.
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Old July 5th, 2010, 02:02 AM   #574
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Spirit of Manila Airlines opens more Taipei flights
Saturday, July 3, 2010



THE Philippines' newest carrier Spirit of Manila Airlines is now operating three-times weekly to Taipei after the expanded international terminal in Clark was finally inaugurated last month.

In a statement, the 1st RP airline to fly to Taipei out of Clark said its timely expansion of more direct flights would have positive impact among the China-Taiwan market, as well as to better service passengers from Central and Northern Luzon. They need not go to NAIA airport for direct flights to Taipei and vice versa.


"We are optimistic that with upgraded airport facilities in Clark will equate to better load capacity or passengers," said Spirit of Manila Airlines Corp. vice president for external affairs Johnny Ramos.

The airline has been intensively operating gateway-to-gateway scheduled passenger services to develop the Philippines (via Clark) and Taiwan since early January this year.

At the same time, charter flights from Taipei to Kalibo are also being developed for the mutual benefits of RP-Taiwan tourism industry.

"It is tough to develop new routes but we are now in a better position to maximize our scheduled three times weekly flights on Clark-Taipei and supplemented with charter flights using 145-seater Boeing family aircraft," Ramos said.

In the case of charters, Ramos emphasized that since they do not have rights to fly domestic, charters from Taiwan to Kalibo is the most competitive recourse to develop and service the tourism market with superior product that leaves Kalibo at 2:30pm and goes direct to Taipei.

Another local airline also diverts some of its Manila-Taipei flights via Kalibo. From Kalibo it returns via Manila which leaves early morning.

"This other carrier should realize that they can no longer monopolize the industry. It is a freedom of choice of the flying public, as we urge our aviation officials to promote a level playing field that encourages competition in the Philippine air industry," Ramos said.

The general sales agent of Spirit of Manila Airlines in Taiwan is Uni-Orient Travel (Taiwan) Limited.

The Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) and Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) support the designation of Spirit of Manila Airlines to service the Clark-Taipei and v.v. route and utilize the 450 seats available passenger capacity entitlements per week under Category 2 of the air services between the two countries.

In addition to the number of designated airlines as well as the capacity entitlements, the civil aviation authorities of both countries may designate multiple airlines to operate charter flights between points in Taiwan and points in the Philippines except Manila with seat capacity up to 3,100 seats per week.

On scheduled flights of Spirit of Manila Airlines, passengers can avail of the affordable seat fares and high quality service when they travel to Taipei. It offers snacks and free shuttle service to ferry passengers from Manila to Clark and vice versa.

For bookings log on to spiritofmanilaairlines.com or call hotline (632) 784-4888 for details. (Press Release)
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Old July 5th, 2010, 02:03 AM   #575
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Spirit of Manila Airlines now flies to Taipei
By Mary Ann LL. Reyes (The Philippine Star) Updated July 05, 2010 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The country’s newest carrier, Spirit of Manila Airlines, is now operating thrice weekly to Taipei following the inauguration last month of the expanded international terminal at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Clark, Pampanga.

The first Philippine airline to fly to Taipei out of Clark said its timely expansion of more direct flights would have a positive impact in the China-Taiwan market, and would provide better service to passengers from Central and Northern Luzon. This is because they need not go to NAIA airport for direct flights to Taipei and vice versa.

“We are optimistic that upgraded airport facilities in Clark will equate to better load capacity or passengers,” Spirit of Manila Airlines Corp. vice president for external affairs Johnny Ramos said.

The airline has been intensively operating gateway-to-gateway scheduled passenger services to develop the Philippines (via Clark) and Taiwan route since early January this year.

At the same time, charter flights from Taipei to Kalibo are also being developed for the mutual benefit of RP-Taiwan tourism industry.
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Old July 9th, 2010, 04:19 AM   #576
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Purchase of navigation equipment to push through
But RNAV will Stay
By Rudy Santos


MANILA - The purchase of a new Very High Frequency Omni Direction Radio Range (VOR) would push through even if the old busted navigational equipment had already been repaired and a new satellite-based navigational system will be activated in July by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).

Airport general manager Melvin Matibag said he had arranged for the purchase of the new equipment but the actual transaction would be done by the incoming administration to avoid any suspicion of wrongdoing in the bidding.

“Of course, we need a new VOR,” Matibag said, adding that the parts borrowed from the Subic VOR would be returned, while a new set of parts had been ordered from Europe and is about to arrive.

Matibag said that a competitive bidding would be announced by the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) for the new navigational aid, estimated to cost between P90 million to P120 million.

Based on a memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the MIAA and the CAAP, the former would pay for the equipment, while the CAAP would operate and maintain it.

As this developed, CAAP director general Alfonso Cusi said he would propose a new arrangement so that the MIAA would buy and maintain the navigational aids at the country’s premier airport so that his office would be able to focus solely on regulation.

Cusi revealed that foreign technicians had been invited by the CAAP to come and bring the new parts for the damaged VOR, and also to assess and make a final recommendation on what to do with it.

Cusi announced in a press conference that come July 4, the CAAP would allow the use of the satellite-based Required Area Navigation (RNAV) system, the next generation navigation procedure that uses Ground Positioning System (GPS), whose signal comes from five satellites orbiting high above the earth.

The satellite is available for civilian use and there is no need for CAAP to buy new equipment.

Cusi said that FedEx, the cargo carrier company, had been using the RNAV for sometime now, following its launching and calibration by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The new standard would allow pilots to switch from VOR to RNAV in case any of the other navigational aids at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) fail.

Cusi said the GPS would be readily available for all airlines to use as instrument approach for MIAA runway 06/24.

GPS is a satellite technology that could phase out all other ground radio navigation aid, including the VOR .

Last Tuesday, Cebu Pacific lent their pilot and Airbus 319 to validate the accuracy of the RNAV approach procedure.

Cusi said that the VOR would remain on standby as additional redundancy to the other navigational aids at the NAIA, which include the Instrument Landing System (ILS) and other visual aids now in place.

These landing patterns are published and disseminated by the CAAP for use of all aircraft flying
into the Philippines and all of the 180-some members of the International Civil Aviation Organization.

He said the CAAP is leasing an Aerothai aircraft from Thailand to calibrate the VORs in Manila
, Clark, Subic, Mactan and the new RNAV departure and arrival procedures for the NAIA.
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Old July 9th, 2010, 04:22 AM   #577
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Clark Terminal 1 Opens
From Billions to Millions

June 27, 2010

San Fernando – President Gloria Arroyo, in what could be her swan song before she steps down from office, finally inaugurated the controversial and much delayed P308.8 million Phase 1 expansion of The Clark Airport Development Project which consist in the construction of modular passenger terminal at the airport named in honor of her late father, ex-President Diosdado Macapagal.

Terminal 1 has a project price tag of only 130 million pesos in 2007. By 2009, the terminal project cost ballooned 100% more costing the taxpayer 300 million pesos. At the time of completion, it cost the government 8 million more to finish a project riddled with inside dealings.

The new Terminal will have a 2.5 million capacity as it added floor spaces equivalent to 500,000 more passengers annually on top of two million it presently processes every year.

"The new terminal is expected to boost the operations of the airport as well as to attract more foreign and local airlines to relocate" says President Arroyo during the inaugural speech.

President Arroyo has designated DMIA as the next premier international gateway of the country. But major airlines shy away to operate from the airport because of logistics and connectivity problems.

Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) President and CEO Victor Jose I. Luciano said they already remedied some of the airport deficiencies that were the concerns of other airlines as Terminal-1 now hosts two passenger boarding bridges; a wider lounges; flight information display system; closed circuit television; public television; background music public address system; x-ray machines; elevators and escalators.

Luciano added that with the bridge facility, airline passengers will now walk door to door without using the stairs to the convenience of the passengers particularly during hot and rainy weather.

Phase 1 of the terminal upgrading project was supposed to have been started in 2005 to be completed in 2008 pursuant to the $1.7 billion US dollars master development plan, but foreign lenders in Japan and Korea refused to fund the project saying that it was overly ambitious with very poor Rate of Returns (ROI).

A clause was later demanded requiring all Low Cost Airlines (LCC) operating out of NAIA to relocate to Clark to make it more viable, but angered LCC airlines threatening to sue CIAC all the way to the Supreme Court should the deal proceed. It was eventually dropped when an American company offered to fund the airport project which turned out to be financially incapable.

Another company from Kuwait offered to develop the airport complex but requires all LCC calling Manila to operate at Clark and demanding at the same time the closing of Subic airport for good. All deals apparently carry a sovereign guarantee in the payment of debts which was declared illegal and unlawful by the Philippine Supreme Court in the PIATCO case.

CIAC formally rejected the offer of Kuwait’s Al- Mal-Pride Consortium to develop DMIA $1.2 billion airport development project at the Clark Civil Aviation Complex.


With no takers, CIAC funded the project in 2009 with a P300 million price tag and was completed on March 31 by its contractor A.G. Araja Construction and Development Corp. Additional 3 months cost the government 4 million pesos more in taxpayers money citing problems with sub-contractors reportedly delaying the project.

In 2008, the original DMIA terminal, which was constructed by the Americans during their stay at the former US Air Force Base, was expanded to increase its passenger capacity from 500,000 to two million yearly. The expansion covered spaces for additional immigration counters, airline offices, concessionaires’ area, and five airline ticketing offices and baggage conveyors among others facilities.

United States Ambassador to the Philippines Harry Thomas Jr. in a meeting with Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) and Clark Development Corp. (CDC) officials reminded them last week that expansion and upgrading of the facilities of the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) here should be transparent, efficient and free from any form of graft and corruption to progress from where they are now.

DMIA hosts Tiger Airways of Singapore, Air Asia of Malaysia, Asiana Airlines of South Korea, and locals Cebu Pacific Air, Spirit of Manila Airlines and South East Asian Airlines (Seair). Other airlines calling at Clark are Jin Air of Korea and Pacific Flier of Palau.
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Old July 9th, 2010, 04:27 AM   #578
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CAAP Grounds Seair LET Fleet
On Passenger Safety Concerns

June 30, 2010


The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines has directed Southeast Asian Airlines (SEAIR) to groound all of its LET410 flights due to safety concerns of the aircraft.

The LET410 is a twin engine short-range aircraft which has a seating capacity of 14 passengers and are capable of Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL) in about 750 meters with full pay load.


The plane is manufactured by the Czechoslovakian aircraft manufacturer Let Kunovice and first flew in 1969. There were more than 1,100 frames produced and used worldwide. SEAIR's fleet of LET-410 UVPs were manufactured in the late 80's making them more than 20 years old.

SEAIR said flights will be temporarily discontinued beginning on Wednesday, June 30. The affected destinations are El Nido; San Fernando, La Union; Marinduque; Zamboanga; Tawi-Tawi; and Jolo.

"This is to comply with the instruction of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP)" the company said in a statement. Also affected by the directive are four other operators which include Sky Pasada, an airline based in Baguio. There are at least 14 LET-410 registered in the country.

"The CAAP directive, which covers all LET410s operating throughout the Philippines, calls for 15 cabin and aircraft systems safety modifications, the most major and costly of which is the installation of two additional exit doors in each aircraft. LET 410 operators were given three weeks to comply," a company statement said.

SEAIR added that they have no choice but to retire the aircraft from passenger service because their Airworthiness Certificate and type ratings has been recalled.

SEAIR operates a fleet of six Let 410-UVP's and four Dornier 328-100's. One of the Dornier 328 plane was previously recalled from service because it was not certified by the manufacturer to carry passengers.

With the fleet recall, only three planes operate for SEAIR, the remaining Dornier 328 which fly to Caticlan; Batanes; Tablas, Romblon; Clark; and Cebu. SEAIR has daily flights to Caticlan and Batanes, with at least seven flights a day to Caticlan.

In response to the changes, SEAIR announced that "it will be bringing in additional Dornier 328s starting August 2010 to beef up operations in the growing markets of Batanes, Caticlan, and Romblon."

SEAIR said "the acquisition of new planes is part of the SEAIR fleet expansion program.
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Old July 9th, 2010, 04:29 AM   #579
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Flight Diverts as Manila closes Again
Its the ILS idiots!

July 3, 2010

Manila International Airport was again closed this morning delaying the arrival of 36 international and domestic flights bound for the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Flights were diverted to airports in Clark, Iloilo and Cebu.

At least 22 flights, ten of them international and 18 from domestic points, were diverted to the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Pampanga. Some of the flights came as far as Europe and the Middle East, two from Taipie, one from Riyadh, two from Singapore and one from Guam.


Three Philippine Airlines flights were also diverted to land in Cebu. They were flights from Zamboanga, Tacloban and Puerto Princesa. The first diverted flight was PR 124 from Zamboanga City with 134 adult and one infant passengers, which arrived at Mactan at 9:07 a.m. The second diverted flight, PR 192 from Tacloban City with 124 adults and one infant arrived at 11:06 a.m. The third diverted flight, PR 196 from Puerto Princesa City with 214 adults and four infants arrived at 12:06 p.m. Meanwhile, another PAL flight from Cagayan de Oro was forced to land at Iloilo airport.

Four international flights, including two from Cathay Pacific, opted to just fly in circles above the Manila airspace for two hours until it was permitted to land by noontime.

Cathay Pacific flight CX907 which was supposed to arrive at 9:55 a.m. flew in circles above Metro Manila while CX901 was scheduled to arrive at 11:15 a.m. circled the air for 55 minutes before finally being able to land.

Aseana flight OZ701 from Seoul, South Korea, and EVA Air 271 from Taipei also opted to fly in circles and were able to land after one hour of waiting up in the air.

Airport officials said the cause of the closure is poor visibility in Metro Manila due to haze.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) clarified that the diverted flights had nothing to do with the navigational aid that broke down last month.

Airport spokesmand Lito Casaul, technical assistant of CAAP, disclosed that haze was abnormal this morning as it was thicker dropping visibility at less than a kilometer making runway approach to runway 24 more difficult.

"Almost zero ang visibility" Casaul said.

Philippine Aviation regulations prohibit aircraft from landing at an airport when visibility is less than 4 kilometers.

But Casaul never said about the ILS (instrument Landing System), a navigational equipment used for night landing and zero visibility landing, whether its working or not.

Former MIAA Manager Melvin Matibag disclosed last month that one of the airports ILS facility, particularly the ILS for runway 24 is not working. A new transmitter module for the ILS is set to arrive in August to replace the old one which has been out of service since last year.

Some of the diverted flights were:

11 Philippine Airlines
4 Cebu Pacific
1 Royal Brunei Airlines
1 Qatar Airways
1 Gulf Air
2 Air Philippines
4 Zest Airlines
1 KLM Airlines
1 Seair
2 China Airlines
1 Air Micronesia

Airport operations returned back to normal as early as 12 noon. Casaul added that despite the diversion, no flight were reported to have been canceled by airlines inspite of weather setbacks. However, by 5 p.m. 15 flights were reported to be cancelled while 24 others were delayed due to the domino effect

CAAP said that airport closure is primarily aimed at passenger safety and that airport authorities will just have to wait for the weather to improve.
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Old July 9th, 2010, 04:30 AM   #580
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Aquino may do away with presidential jet
But PAF Modernization to Continue

July 6, 2010

by Joyce Pangco Pañares

After ditching the use of sirens and blinkers, President Benigno Aquino III is now mulling over taking commercial flights instead of using the 30-year old Fokker F-28 for his domestic travels.

Aquino, after addressing the 63rd anniversary of the Philippine Air Force at the Villamor Air Base, said he was very conscious of the scant air assets of the military and the need to upgrade and modernize equipment.

“I think we have all seen the assets of the Philippine Air Force on display. One of them is the F-28, the presidential aircraft that is at least 30 years old,” he said in an ambush interview.

“I feel it is better for us to take commercial flights instead,” Mr. Aquino said.

When asked if he is prepared for the inconvenience that he and his delegation might have to bear when flying commercial, the President said: My comfort will be the last priority.

His predecessor, Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo, earlier wanted to buy a fixed-wing executive jet worth P1.2 billion to replace the old Fokker but junked the bid call after receiving much flak for the planned procurement.

Mr. Aquino proved yesterday that proper time management would allow him to be on time for his engagements even without the use of blaring sirens.

After being late for almost an hour for the Armed Forces’ turnover rites Friday, he beat the morning traffic yesterday from his family’s residence at Times St. in Quezon City to Malacanang to lead the flag-raising ceremony at the Kalayaan Hall at 8 a.m. and was also 15 minutes early for the Air Force event.

According to Presidential Security Group commander Col. Ramon Dizon, the sirens and blinkers of the presidential convoy will only be used during emergencies or life threatening situations.

“We have already made security adjustments to follow the President’s order not to use sirens or blinkers, but we did not remove them in case the need to use them arises,” Dizon said in a separate interview.

Mr. Aquino said he has yet to transfer to the one-room Bahay Pangarap within the PSG compound as construction of new rooms for his close-in security as well as better flood control systems have yet to be completed.

“When Pasig River overflows, Bahay Pangarap becomes flooded. They’re completing the necessary construction, and they told me it will take about a month to finish,” he said.

Mr. Aquino ordered Defense chief Voltaire Gazmin to review the national defense policies of the government to strike a balance between the military’s budgetary constraints and the need to procure new equipment or upgrade old ones.
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