Clark airport expansion seen to start in April

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@paolomontecillo

08:54 PM March 26th, 2013

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By: Paolo G. Montecillo, March 26th, 2013 08:54 PM

The government is set to start work on the expansion of the passenger terminal at the Clark International Airport in Pampanga, the country’s fastest growing airport.

Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) president and CEO Vic Luciano said the Department of Transportation and Communications had finally approved the budget for the expansion of Clark’s terminal 1.

“We’re starting next month. That’s phase two of the existing terminal. The budget’s already been approved,” Luciano said.

Luciano said the last hurdle would be the Monetary Board’s approval of a P1-billion debt from Land Bank of the Philippines that would bankroll the project. He said he was confident that there would be no problem in getting the board’s approval.

The existing terminal in Clark has a capacity of 2.5 million passengers a year. Once phase 2 is completed, its capacity will increase to four million passengers yearly.

Clark International was the country’s fastest-growing international airport last year, with the number of passengers using the terminal rising by 71 percent to 1.3 million.

Clark mainly serves the international market, with international passengers accounting for 1.01 million, 77 percent of total volume. The Pampanga airport is used by eight budget airlines as a cheaper and less congested alternative to Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia).

Last month, Emirates Airlines announced it would start direct flights between Dubai and Clark in October. It will be the first long-haul flight out of this airport.

Also in October, Cebu Pacific will launch its first long-haul flight out of Manila, also to Dubai. Philippine Airlines will, for its part, resume services to the Middle East with its Manila-Abu Dhabi service.

With the expansion commitments of the airlines using Clark, the number of passengers using this facility should reach five million this year.

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