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Clark eyed as premier logistics hub


CLARK FREEPORT – The Clark International Airport is being eyed as a premier global civil aviation logistics hub of the Philippines.

This, according to Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) president Arrey Perez, as the state-owned firm has laid down seven flagship programs that will be implemented from 2024 onwards to realize its vision of making Clark and Central Luzon a transshipment hub of Southeast Asia.

“We have both the ability and opportunity to raise these projects in a national awareness. All these are very important and should align together. All projects that we have lined up are about tapping these developments and assets by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority, Clark Development Corporation, and CIAC. The airport city we envision is aligned with the vision and master plan of these developments,” he explained.

Primary to these is the establishment of a new Clark International Airport (CRK) direct access link to make sure that the airport is very accessible for everyone and is directly connected using the shortest possible route to major expressways.

Perez said they will also expand and upgrade existing road networks and utilities.

“This is very crucial because if we are going to develop and expand, or to implement the masterplan, we have to be ready for the influx of both planes, vehicles, and people. This is accompanied by our needs in terms of electric and water supply for us to make a smart city that is safe and secured,” he said.

The CIAC executive also mentioned the detailed site development plan of CRK’s second commercial runway in order to know the restrictions and things that can be done around the facility.

“Until the location of the second runway is known and how far it will be from the existing runways, the development of our other properties will be restricted. That is why we have areas in the Clark Civil Aviation Complex that seem undeveloped. That is why we need the detailed plan so that we can also inform our existing locators if they need to sign new contracts if extensions are approved or needed,” he said.

However, Perez clarified that until the airport reaches its goal of catering to 80 million passenger per annum which is expected around 20 years from now, the actual construction of the second runway will be put on hold because it is expensive to maintain a new runway and the existing one is capable to cater the present influx of passengers.

The CIAC president also said among their flagship projects is to build a new CIAC headquarters since the existing one will be hit by the second runway. 

“If we are to present to the world that we are Southeast Asia’s hub and if we are going to attract premiere companies to locate in our Clark Civil Aviation Complex, we must also show that we are capable of showcasing our best selves— with that our headquarters as well. It needs to be seen that we not only renovate and rehabilitate, but we are also capable of building our own,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, Perez said CIAC will also strengthen public-private partnership in implementing projects that are also meant to showcase themselves as a newly transformed organization and a contributor to national economic growth.

These include the National Food Terminal which aligns with the national government’s priority projects to address the problem of agriculture and food security.

“This food terminal is meant to help the growers and farmers to have a level playing field so that they can compete to reduce spoilage and wastage of their products. This will also try to eliminate middlemen so that the growers and farmers will earn well,” he explained.

The CIAC president further said this facility will help small growers and farmers aggregate together for them to be able to compete with the big ones, and also meant to make sure that there is a chance for value added services.

“We are not just building an airport. We are trying to build a complex. These are developments that support the airport operation. It is important because it feeds the commodities that the airlines will fly anywhere in the PH and in the world,” he cited.

Another development in the pipeline is the entertainment and events hub which is critical to help Clark compete and strengthen its foothold as a center for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE).

This multi modal mobility hub, Perez explained, is aimed to make Clark a transit-oriented destination which will include hotels, commercial facilities, shops, outlet malls, and residential facilities to attract people to visit the area.

Lastly, he said there is also a need to implement urban renewal and heritage conservation program, which is meant to showcase themselves as good managers who can maintain their own common areas like sidewalks, parklanes, and waterways to attract good companies to invest in the complex.