CLARK FREEPORT — More and more travelers are fast discovering the ease, comfort, and delight of traveling via Clark International Airport (CRK) with its new, sprawling, and modern Passenger Terminal Building now open for business.
The scale of visitors entering and coming from CRK is on the uptick. And levels are certainly going way higher in the coming months with the holiday season’s movements and with more people making travel plans.
End of September, 2022 figures showed a 397 percent increase in usage, both by domestic and international passengers, over last year’s figures.
This and coupled with multi-sectoral initiatives such as reinvigorated hotel and sporting event promotions are among the bright developments taking place at the Clark Freeport Zone in historic and culturally rich Pampanga, the birthplace of the festive, multicolor Philippine Christmas parols or lanterns, and delectable cuisine.
Clark’s new passenger terminal building was officially inaugurated by President Ferdinand R. Marcos last September 28 in grand rites wherein he cited CRK as the “perfect example of what the government and the private sector can do.”
The new terminal was part of a PHP19.25 billion megastructure project undertaken by the Philippine government through the Public-Private Partnership model. It included features such as a road access network, horizontal developments such as taxiways and apron, and a transport terminal site, among others.
The Luzon International Premiere Airport Development (LIPAD) Corp. is tasked with the airport’s operation and maintenance with a contract award from the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) which worked with the Department of Transportation in spearheading the project.
LIPAD is a private consortium composed of the Filinvest Development Corp., the JG Summit Holdings Inc., the Philippine Airport Ground Support Services Inc., and the Changi Airports Philippines (I) Pte. Ltd:, a wholly owned subsidiary of
Changi Airports International. Consortium members each have vast experiences in airport operations, air transportation and property development.
LIPAD Chairman, Robinsons Land Corp. CEO, Frederick Go said the inauguration of the new terminal is a “signal to the world that the new CRK is open for business”.
“Our goal is to continue working towards expanding our network above pre-COVID levels, connecting CRK to more domestic and international points. CRK has started to chart new growth rates with the recent return of domestic travel,” Go said in addressing President Marcos after his speech.
As of August 2022, CRK posted a 129 percent increase in combined domestic and international flights compared to year-ago levels.
By the end of September 2022, the number of passengers increased by close to 400 percent, compared to year-ago level.
On the part of LIPAD and Filinvest Development Corp. Director Francis Gotianun, there are three Ps that the recent inauguration represented. These are “the promise fulfilled through full commercial operations of the airport, partnership which is LIPAD’s investment in Clark representing the company’s participation in nation building, and the passion of the men and women who remained steadfast and kept the wheels running despite the difficulties posed by the pandemic.”
It is noted that though most airlines drastically reduced their operations during the height of the global health threat in the last two years, CRK remained open to fully serve repatriation and other necessary flights.
Amidst the improvement in the global health situation, CRK is well poised as a “game changer” in helping the Subic-Clark corridor provide benefits to the country, BCDA President and CEO Aileen R. Zosa noted.