CLARK FREEPORT – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Wednesday officially opened the New Passenger Terminal Building (NPTB) of the Clark International Airport (CRK) and unveiled a marker at the airport that signifies a milestone for Philippine air travel for Central and Northern Luzon connectivity.
The new terminal’s megastructure will enable an annual 8 million passenger capacity, which is double that of the old terminal.
President Marcos walked through the facilities of the modern terminal that earned global citation for its aesthetic melding of a deep sense of place in its design to achieve ease, comfort, and safety for a pleasurable passenger experience.
In his message, the President mentioned that the airport’s grand opening is a distinctly important event for reasons: first is how to leverage assets of government and second is how to leverage partnerships with the private sector.
“This is a perfect example of what the government and private sector can do. This is exactly the kind of partnership that we need to encourage,” said President Marcos.
The project, which was funded in 2015 and broke ground in December 2017, has a total project cost of PHP19.25 billion. The management and operations of Clark International Airport were awarded to and being undertaken by the Luzon International Premiere Airport Development (LIPAD) Corp., a private consortium composed of Filinvest Development Corporation, JG Summit Holdings Inc., Philippine Airport Ground Support Services Inc., Changi Airports Philippines (I) Pte. Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Changi Airports International. The consortium members each have vast experience in airport operations, air transportation, and property development. LIPAD Corporation has committed to bringing in this expertise to transform Clark International Airport into a world-class airport.
Massive benefits are foreseen from the project. It improves the attraction of the airport as the main gateway in Northern Luzon serving Regions I, II, III, and the Cordillera Administrative Region, with the CAMANAVA area. It also helps decongest Ninoy Aquino International Airport by providing a more convenient and accessible alternative while accommodating the growing traffic through North and Central Luzon.
Also present in the program were Department of Transportation Secretary Jamie Bautista, Department of Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco, Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) Chairman Delfin Lorenzana, BDCA President Aileen Zosa, Pampanga Governor Dennis Pineda, Pampanga Vice-Governor Lilia Pineda, Tarlac Governor Susan Yap, LIPAD Chairman Frederick D. Go, LIPAD Director Jonathan T. Gotianun and LIPAD Director Jefferson Cheng.
The building of the new terminal features two components. One involves the construction of the horizontal or airside infrastructure, composed of a new apron and the extension of taxiways, which was undertaken by the Department of Transportation through the Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC).
The other is on the construction of the vertical or landside infrastructure covering the new 110,000 square meter passenger terminal, a secondary access road, parking facilities, and a transport terminal hub.
This is handled by the BCDA through the awarding of pertinent contracts for the shell of the terminal building and facilities; and the Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Contract for approximately 810 hectares of the Clark Civil Aviation Complex and for the fit-out requirement of the new Passenger Terminal Building. Another phase of the fit outs begins in 2023.
“Today, we have this modern, state-of-the-art terminal that will immensely improve the way Filipinos travel–a terminal where all travelers will feel like they are VIPs. This is not just a distant dream anymore, it is our reality,” BCDA Chairman Delfin Lorenzana said.
BCDA Chairman Delfin Lorenzana said.
“We are proud to say that the Clark International Airport is a game-changer, as it will bring immense benefits to the economy. Aside from boosting the tourism industry, this new terminal, which is a joint project of the BCDA and the DOTr, will help further strengthen the Subic-Clark Corridor’s position as a major logistics hub in the country, making this region more attractive to local and foreign investors. The presence of this airport is also expected to create 150,000 new jobs for Filipinos, spanning different sectors and supporting industries, such as the hospitality, food and beverage, agriculture, and manufacturing sectors, just to name a few,” BCDA President and CEO Aileen R. Zosa said.
Valuable cooperation and masterful coordination among parties, government agencies, and LIPAD leaders during the challenging first two years of the pandemic was a fitting testament to Filipino will to push forward the goal of readying the new terminal that leads not just to more economic growth, but the uplift of the national spirit.
Addressing the President in his welcome speech, LIPAD Chairman and President and CEO of Robinsons Land Corporation Frederick D. Go said, “We are so grateful that His Excellency is inaugurating this new terminal today and signal to the Philippines and 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 Clark to more domestic and international points. CRK has started to chart new growth rates, with the recent return of international and domestic travel.”
LIPAD and Filinvest Development Corporation Director Francis Gotianun shared three things that the CRK represents, which he calls the 3Ps – “promise fulfilled through the full commercial operations of the airport, partnership which is LIPAD’s investment in CRK representing the company’s participation in nation-building, and finally, the passion of the men and women who remained steadfast and kept the wheels running despite the difficulties posed by the pandemic.
The opening rites were closed with a feast featuring Central Luzon cuisine, highlighted by delectable Pampango dishes, which distinctively put Pampanga among the best places to be visited and experienced by travelers.