Clark Airport turned over to Changi venture with local conglomerates
MANILA, Philippines–The Clark International Airport in Pampanga province— the largest gateway in Central Luzon and an alternative to Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport— was turned over to the private sector on Friday.
Luzon International Premier Airport Development (Lipad) Corp., a venture led by conglomerates JG Summit Holdings and Filinvest Development Corp. in partnership with a unit of Singapore’s Changi Airport, will operate Clark Airport for a period of 25 years.
“This is day one of Lipad O&M [operations and maintenance], the first public private partnership project awarded under the administration of President [Rodrigo] Duterte,” said Lipad president Bi Yong Chungunco during the turnover ceremonies.
She said the consortium will open new food and beverage outlets, including a Starbucks outlet within the month. Lipad is also in talks with the airlines to integrate terminal fees in the ticket price for more passenger convenience.
Lipad, which is the Filipino word for “fly,” will operate the existing passenger terminal in Clark Airport, a former United States air base.
A new terminal, which will at least double Clark Airport’s capacity to eight million passengers per year, will be turned over to Lipad by the middle of 2020.
“Now the Clark Airport will be in better hands, achieving greater heights,” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said on Friday.
Upgrades at Clark Airport are being led by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority. These are part of the administration’s broader push to transform Clark into a new metropolis to decongest Metro Manila, about 100 kilometers away.
The Clark Airport anchors the 9,450 hectare New Clark City, which will house government and business districts, as well as a massive sports complex where the 2019 Southeast Asian Games will be held. The DOTr is also building a railway system that will link Manila and the Clark Freeport Zone. /jpv
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