New Clark airport terminal to open soon; old facility to become vaccine hub
A new COVID-19 vaccination hub capable of handling up to 10,000 patients per day could rise within the Clark International Airport in Pampanga province.
This was announced by its private sector operator, Luzon International Premier Airport Development (Lipad) Corp., during the turnover of a new passenger terminal with a capacity of 8.2 million passengers yearly—double Clark Airport’s existing limit.
Lipad Corp. president Bi Yong Chungunco said during the ceremonial event on Friday they had offered to transform the old airport terminal into a vaccination hub.
She said vaccines would arrive by plane and would be immediately stored within the Clark International Airport vaccine hub. It will include cold storage facilities required for certain COVID-19 vaccine brands.
“When you need a vaccine, in five minutes it will be [ready] in the vaccination center,” Chungunco said.
With the conversion of the old airport building, flight operations will move to the new passenger terminal, she said.
The structure was turned over by builder Megawide Construction Corp. and GMR Infrastructure to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Bases Conversion and Development Authority on Friday.
Chungunco said operations at the new terminal were targeted to begin by July this year. She explained they were finishing the fit-out of the structure to make it a “world-class” gateway.
Lipad is led by conglomerates JG Summit Holdings Inc., Filinvest Development Corp., aviation services firm Philippine Airport Ground Support Solutions Inc. and Singapore’s Changi Airport.
The consortium won the 25-year contract to maintain and operate the Clark Airport in 2018 and assumed operations of the facility in August the following year.
The Clark International Airport expansion is among the Build, Build, Build projects started and completed during the Duterte administration.
Megawide-GMR, operator of the Mactan Cebu International Airport, earlier announced the structure was completed ahead of schedule last year.
Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines director general Jim Sydiongco said during the turnover ceremonies the construction of the new passenger terminal building (PTB) started in July 2018.
“The Clark International Airport’s new PTB is perhaps the fastest built mega structure project by any government or any administration,” Sydiongco said.
The Clark Airport is being positioned as the main air gateway of Central and Northern Luzon.
The DOTr is also building a railway line that will link Metro Manila and the Clark Freeport Zone.
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