Thursday, March 1, 2012

Angeleños Favor 'DMIA' Over 'CIA'

"Angeleños favor the retention of the Clark airport name as Diosdado Macapagal International Airport or DMIA," said Pamintuan, who downplayed reasons given by proponents of the name change.

Through the sponsorship of Councilor Edu Pamintuan, the City Council passed on Tuesday two resolutions supporting the retention of the current name of the DMIA One resolution expresses disapproval to renaming the airport back to "Clark" while the other enjoins Congress to enact a law officially naming it as the "DMIA."

Pamintuan said that renaming the DMIA would be a disservice not only to the Kapampangans (people of Pampanga) but more so to the historical heritage of the country.

"Dropping DMIA in favor of 'Clark' is not justified by the claim that aviation players know the airport more to be 'Clark' than 'DMIA' and that the airport is tagged by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) as 'CRK,' while the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) retains its name when it is still referred to as 'Manila airport' or 'MNL' by IATA," Pamintuan said.

He said that international airports all over the world often have long and unfamiliar names and, altogether, a different IATA code as a "very acceptable practice."

Pamintuan cited the airports in Rome, Italy which was named after their national treasure - Leonardo da Vinci while in New York, USA, the airport was named after former President John F. Kennedy.

Here in Asia, he said Hong Kong which is known as Chek Lap Kok Airport has "HKG" as its IATA code while Singapore's Changi International Airport code is "SIN."

"The practice has been accepted widely and no foreign pilots seem bothered by it," the councilor said.

Pamintuan added: "Changing the name of DMIA to Clark International Airport shall have no significant bearing on the airport's current operation, capacity and potential as a premier international gateway airport."

Clark International Airport was renamed DMIA in 2001 during the presidency of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

This was pursuant to Clark Development Corporation's (CDC's) Board Resolution 07-08 approved in July 2001, renaming the Clark airport as DMIA on the occasion of the 91st birth anniversary of the late former president, Diosdado Macapagal, on Sept. 28, 2001.

Although the Clark airport was changed to DMIA in 2003, its international code remains CRK.

Both resolutions stated that: "The basis of the name DMIA is important to the people of Pampanga as it honors one of its respected leaders, Diosdado Pangan Macapagal, who is the ninth President of the Philippines, the 'poor boy from Lubao, Pampanga' who became the first Kapampangan President, and 'Father of Land Reform' of the country."

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