DOTC eyes start of Clark budget terminal project
The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said funding would be ready in 2015 to build the first phase of a new terminal in Clark International Airport in the Pampanga Freeport Zone.
Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya said the project would push through even as the government makes adjustments to the original design of France’s Aeroports de Paris, which was tapped to design the new terminal.
“Aéroports de Paris designed a huge terminal that is beyond what we thought would be the actual demand,” Abaya told reporters in a recent interview.
Clark, which handles about 1.3 million passengers per year against 32 million handled by Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia), has traditionally struggled to draw huge volumes due to its distance from the capital district.
“The compromise is, we’ll still honor the design but we construct in phases. As the demand comes in, we will build it. Next year we will have funding for the first phase,” Abaya added.
The DOTC said early this year that the new budget terminal would cost about P7.2 billion and would increase Clark Airport’s current maximum capacity of four million passengers per year to about eight million, and then 16 million passengers. Those figures are likely different today although Abaya could not immediately elaborate.
Clark International Airport Corp. said earlier that it was seeking to double annual passengers to three million in two years as it targets markets apart from Metro Manila.
“Based on studies, there are at least 1.5 million passengers coming from Regions 1, 2, 3 and the Northern part of NCR [National Capital Region] who would rather go to Naia for the reason that they are not aware that there is the Clark International Airport,” CIAC CEO Emigdio Tanjuatco III said.
Tanjuatco said CIAC was now focused on marketing Clark Airport so as to have more passengers and flights which would benefit the North Philippines.
A study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency pointed to continued growth for Clark.
“While Naia’s capacity is getting saturated, the functions of the two gateway airports of Naia and Clark should be urgently strengthened and integrated by clarifying their roles and improving access to and between these airports,” Jica and the National Economic and Development Authority noted in a report.
The report showed that Clark Airport’s traffic would be about 2.6 million passengers by 2020 and then more than triple to 9.2 million by 2040.
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