JG Summit, Filinvest pitch to improve struggling Clark airport
The Gokongwei and Gotianun families are teaming up to modernize and operate Clark International Airport, a Pampanga province gateway that has struggled to lure passenger traffic despite being an alternative to Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia).
Roberto Lim, undersecretary for aviation at the Department of Transportation (DOTr), told reporters on Thursday that Gokongwei-led JG Summit Holdings Inc. and the Gotianun family’s Filinvest Group made an almost P187-billion unsolicited proposal to the government early this year.
Lim said the proposal called for a 50-year concession period and mainly involved increasing capacity at Clark Airport from about 4 million passengers annually to 36 million passengers via several phases.
Megawide Construction Corp. and partner GMR Infrastructure of India, which jointly operate the Mactan Cebu International Airport, said they had also submitted an unsolicited proposal to the Duterte administration in July last year.
A Megawide spokesperson said Thursday they would clarify the status of their proposal with the DOTr.
Lim spoke to reporters on the sidelines of an event led by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The forum was to collect private sector feedback on the possible location for a new international airport serving the greater capital region.
The forum was held in response to worries that limitations at Naia, operating well beyond its designed capacity, was crimping the country’s growth potential in the areas of tourism and trade.
Clark is currently underutitlized. Its difficulty in drawing airline operators and passengers stemmed from the fact that it lacked a mass transit link to Metro Manila.
The Duterte administration promised to build a new railway connection, but this would take years to implement and complete.
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