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Inggit sa Clark? Dick pushes for reopening of Subic airport

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Senator Dick Gordon has raised the need to fasttrack the reopening of the Subic Bay International Airport (SBIA) to finally fulfill the “full conversion” of the former United States military bases in Central Luzon for the benefit of the Philippines.

When he was still Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) chairman, Gordon helped convert the former US bases in Subic and Clark as free ports, wants to fast track the reopening of Subic International Airport.

He led the rehabilitation of Subic airport for heavy laden aircraft and made it the Asia One hub of Federal Express (Fedex) in 1995.

Because of that Gordon got UPS to follow Fedex in Clark and DHL in Manila immediately thereafter.

Unfortunately, he said all these international overnight air cargo operators left the Philippines to hub in China. Subic also then maintained regular international passenger flights in Asia.

“We cannot lose our second chance of decongesting Metro Manila and getting more investments in Central and Northern Luzon to get jobs and a greater tax base for our country and people,” Gordon said.

“We must operate the airports there aggressively. We have 3 airports and 3 seaports between Manila and Central Luzon,” he said.

He added, “We have heavily invested in road connectivity throughout Central and Northern Luzon such as NLEX (North Luzon Expressway), SCTEX (Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway), and Olongapo-Gapan highways.”

“Soon, we will have the cargo railway between Clark and Subic, not to mention Clark and Manila,” he said.

“With flights often delayed because of the congestion at the NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport), I have long been calling for the reopening of Subic Bay International Airport, so that it, along with Clark International Airport, could be used to create more flights for the Philippines and avoid delays,” he said.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said last week that the SBIA could return to operation in the second quarter of 2019 under a revival program.