Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Diosdado Macapagal International Airport

Dave at DMIA airport, wearing his favorite shirt with Iloilo prints on it.

I love the DMIA.  It's so convenient, especially for us who are at least 100 kms. away from NAIA.  

DMIA could be called different waysAccording to Wikipedia:

Diosdado Macapagal International Airport
Paliparang Pandaigdig ng Diosdado Macapagal
Sulapawang Internasyonal ning Diosdado Macapagal
 Airport type Public
Operator Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC)
Serves Angeles City, Manila
Location Clark Special Economic Zone, Angeles City, Pampanga
Hub for Cebu Pacific Spirit of Manila Airlines
Elevation AMSL 148 m / 484 ft
Coordinates 15°11′09″N 120°33′37″E / 15.18583°N 120.56028°E / 15.18583; 120.56028
Website http://www.dmia.ph/
Direction Length Surface
m ft
02R/20L 3,200 10,499 Concrete
02L/20R 3,200 10,499 Concrete
Source: DAFIF[1][2]
Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA, Filipino: Paliparang Pandaigdig ng Diosdado Macapagal, Kapampangan: Sulapawang Internasyonal ning Diosdado Macapagal), also called Clark International Airport (IATA: CRKICAO: RPLC), is the main airport serving the immediate vicinity of the Clark Special Economic Zone (CSEZ) and the general area of Angeles City in the Philippines. It also serves the northern and central regions of Luzon, and being 85 kilometers (50 miles) from the older Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) that serves Manila, DMIA also serves Metro Manila and its immediate vicinity. It is located on an area of the economic zone formerly utilized as the Clark Air Base, which was closed in late 1991 by the U.S. Air Forces after the explosion of Mount Pinatubo.
The two parallel runways of DMIA are capable of NASA Space Shuttle landings. However, it is no longer listed as an active landing site,[3] and it has never had a Space Shuttle land there.[4]
The airport is managed by the Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC), a government-owned and/or controlled corporation.

Ground Transportation

Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway
The Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) provides access to Clark Special Economic Zone (CSEZ), including the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport, through two exits. The Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) opened Panday Pira Road on December 23, 2008, and it is connected to the Clark North interchange in Mabalacat, Pampanga, where it leads straight to CSEZ on the left and Sacobia in Bamban town to the right. The Clark South interchange leads directly to the airport, Angeles, Tarlac, and the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.
North Luzon Railway
Construction has begun on a new US$421 million North Luzon project (initiated by the Philippine National Railways), scheduled for completion by 2010.[30] Two separate lines will be constructed, one for the Airport Railway, and another for the NorthRail commuter and high speed rail line serving Metro Manila and the northern Luzon provinces.
There are regular bus services to various destinations from the airport, charging from PH₱300 ($6.50) for Cubao (Quezon City), Mariveles, and Avenida (Manila), to PH₱350 ($6.75) for SM Megamall, Pasay City and Baguio City.[31] Operators include:
Taxi stands are located in the arrival halls,[31] and prices are based on the meter. Operators include:
  • Airport Shuttle Service Inc.
  • Avis Philippines
  • Triangle Taxi

Current projects

New In-Flight Catering Service Facility

Philippine Airlines
Philippine Airlines has recently mentioned plans to make DMIA the airline's main hub for maintenance, ground-handling and catering services. Talks for long-term lease are in progress for PH₱5 billion to obtain 30 hectares at DMIA to build a new facility for PAL by 2010.[13]
In April 2008, details that Macroasia Corporation, the airline services company of Lucio Tan and PAL, said it had signed an agreement with First Metro Investment Corp. for a PH₱450 million standby credit line for expanding its facilities at NAIA and DMIA.[13]
Macroasia management has obtained permission to invest US$100 million in the Clark DMIA maintenance, ground-handling and catering facility, depending on results of ongoing feasibility studies and on projected demands from various airlines.[13]
Enter Gate Gourmet
Enter Gate Gourmet, one of the world’s largest in-flight catering service providers, is in a joint venture with Miascor to construct and maintain an in-flight catering facility at DMIA.[13]
As of November 2007, work has begun on the first phase of a 3,000 square meter, US$2 million, world-class catering facility on the grounds of DMIA, close to the current CIAC administrative offices. A second phase will be built, for an additional US$ 5million, that will eventually serve up to 4,000 meals a day as DMIA allows major long-haul international carriers from around the world to operate.[13]
The Enter Gate Gourmet/Miascor catering facility is an important project that will potentially attract Middle Eastern and other airlines for it will provide quality meals for various flights.[13]

New MRO Facilities

SIA Engineering Company
SIA Engineering Company (SIAEC) will pour an initial US$1 billion[32] (P45 billion) investment to set up a world-class aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) facility at DMIA.[13]
The facility will occupy a 10-hectare property at the DMIA which would be the center of repair, maintenance and overhaul of various wide- and narrow-bodied aircraft, such as the Airbus A380,[33] currently the world’s largest aircraft, A320, Boeing 747-800 and Boeing 777, among others.[13]
SIAEC, a major provider of aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul services in the Asia-Pacific region, is part of the Singapore Airlines Group and provides maintenance services at Singapore Changi Airport for more than 60 international carriers, including airframe and component overhaul on some of the most advanced and widely-used commercial aircraft in the world.[13]
Kuwait and Gulf Link
The Kuwait and Gulf Link (KGL) project, initially costing about US$25 million, will cover aviation-related and dependent businesses, including, but not limited to warehousing, distribution, multi-nodal logistics, light manufacturing alongside complementary business operations, and facilities to support aviation-related activities within the Civil Aviation Complex of DMIA.[13]
KGL will occupy at least 1.25 million square meters (125 hectares) at the Civil Aviation Complex for the development of a world-class logistics park.[13]
Spirit of Manila Airlines
On November 9, 2008, officials of Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) and Spirit of Manila Airlines led the groundbreaking ceremonies for the construction of a PH₱1 billion aircraft hangar facility at the DMIA.[10] The hangar is expected to be completed by mid-2009 which will house wide bodied aircraft such as the Boeing 747-8 and Airbus A320.[11]
Spirit of Manila Airlines has acquired a ten-hectare property inside the Civil Aviation Complex, in which the hangar will occupy one hectare of the area.[34] The hangar can even accommodate the Airbus A380, currently the largest passenger aircraft in the world.[34]

Yes, Priscilla, from DMIA you could go anywhere in Luzon as there are vans, aircon jeeps and buses waiting to bring you to your destination at a very reasonable price.  It's safe, you don't have to worry that the driver would bring you to somewhere secluded and kidnap/hold you for ransom. 


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Saigon Central Post Office

Do you like receiving postcards?  I do (hint, hint), so I send postcards to my friends when we're travelling abroad so that in case my friends are inclined to send postcards  they will remember us too.  Hayz, isn't that a roundabout way of getting postcards, why don't I just send myself postcards. 

Anyway, while in Saigon, we bought postcards and sent them to some of our friends in the U.S. and in the Philippines.  We had a very pleasant surprise when we went to the post office.  It  should be in postcards.  What a beautiful and magnificent building!

Wikipedia states:
Saigon Central Post Office (Vietnamese: Bưu điện Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh) is a post office in the downtown Ho Chi Minh City, near Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica, the city's main church. The building was constructed when Vietnam was part of French Indochina in the early 20th century. It has a Gothic architectural style. It was designed and constructed by the famous architect Gustave Eiffel in harmony with the surrounding area. Today, the building is a tourist attraction.

Inside, there are also shops selling not only postcards and other post office memorabilia, but also souvenirs for tourists.  Would you believe we bought these rings from there.  We had been to the market and other jewelry stores, but we found what we like at the Post office.