Clark airport developer Berthaphil is hoping to attract more global aerospace companies – such as MRO providers and cargo and logistics operators – as part of a wider effort by the government of the Philippines to bring in investment from the sector. 

The company is part of the Philippine Aviation pavilion at this year’s Singapore air show, together with the Philippine Department of Transportation, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, and Clark International Airport Corporation. 

CRK Facade - 17

Source: Berthaphil

Clark airport is located around 50 miles from downtown Manila

Clark, located about 50 miles (80km) from downtown Manila, is already home to MRO companies such as SIA Engineering Philippines, and is a gateway for logistics giants UPS, DHL and FedEx. 

Berthaphil is offering a vacant 10ha airfield site with primary runway access to aerospace companies. 

Company chair Michael Herman says that the airport has several advantages, including that it is not as congested as Manila’s airport. 

Clark is served by over 15 domestic and international carriers, and its passenger terminal – the country’s newest – can handle 80 million passengers annually. 

Herman says that there is also a “big push” from the Philippine government to boost Clark’s profile as a viable secondary airport to Manila, including improving its connectivity with the capital city. Notably, work is underway to build a new passenger and cargo rail link between the two.  

That government agencies are also participating at the show illustrates “their commitment” to boosting the country’s aerospace sector, including Clark, he says.

Herman adds that the Philippines has a large pool of skilled engineers and mechanics who are proficient in English, a boon in attracting international aerospace firms. 

“It is no secret that many of the qualified maintenance engineers and technicians working in places such as Singapore, Hong Kong and the Middle East are Filipinos. Any aerospace company that establishes itself at Clark has a huge pool of internationally certified talent it can draw on both locally and from overseas,” he adds. 

Still, Herman is aware of the intensifying competition from its neighbours, like Singapore and Malaysia, who are also doubling down on efforts to grow aerospace investment. 

He notes that while “healthy competition” is always welcome, many of its competing airports “are fast running out of room”. 

“It will [also] come down to labour – the cost of labour, the availability of labour, what are the benefits they can get?” Herman says. 

He is optimistic about the sector’s prospects in the near-term, but believes that promotional work needs to continue. “We [have got to] let the world know [we are] here… that’s why we are in Singapore, to get the word out that we exist.”