The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is set to present to the Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) of the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) a P7.2-billion project aimed at expanding the capacity of the Clark International Airport in Pampanga.
Part of this is the concept design for the multibillion-peso low-cost carrier (LCC) terminal concept prepared by Aeroports de Paris that was presented to Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio A. Abaya on Monday.
Abaya said the planned budget terminal will enhance the airport’s capacity to support its increasing popularity as a regional hub.
“Clark International Airport Corp. is now scheduled to present this proposal to the Neda-ICC. The proposed new budget terminal will boost the airport’s capacity further to between 8 million and 16 million passengers per year. We are hoping for a smooth process in order for the project to be completed within 2016,” Abaya said.
Included in the DOTC’s presentation is the long-term development plan for Clark.
Meanwhile, the P417-million passenger-terminal building at the air hub has been completed, expanding the size of the terminal to 19,799 square meters (sq m) from 11,439 sq m. It also increased its check-in counters from 13 to 34.
In order to accommodate more passengers and ease queuing, 12 departure counters and five arrival counters have also been added.
The modernized portion of the terminal itself has eight entry points and three customs stations. This allows the air hub to expand its airport operations by accommodating more international flights from Qatar Airways and Emirates.
“The airport’s passenger terminal building was expanded last May, providing new and modernized facilities to better serve the public and boosting annual passenger capacity to around 4 million from the previous 2.5 million,” the transport chief said.
This development, Abaya said, is a testament to the agency’s commitment to improve the transportation sector in the country. It also shows that the government will not only focus on improving the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) and the proposed $10-billion Sangley Airport, but will also set its eyes on improving the gateway in the north.
“We see Clark International Airport as a premier gateway alongside Naia and Sangley, especially in view of its rapid growth over the past few years, as well as the government’s development plans for the entire economic zone and the rest of the region. This is the direction we are taking for presentation to the President, for his consideration,” he said.
The transport chief added: “These exciting new developments signal even greater economic progress for Clark and the entire region in the coming years.”
Written by: Lorenz S. Marasigan