By Will Lee
Clark International Airport’s New Terminal Set to Open Soon
Even though the aviation industry is not out of the woods, the Philippines hasn’t stopped developing its aviation facilities amid the pandemic. The new terminal of Clark International Airport, located in the northern Philippines, has been completed.
Rodrigo Duterte, the president of the Philippines, called the new terminal a “massive achievement.”
Earlier, the President went to the new terminal for an inspection. The government hadn’t revealed the specific date for launching but said the terminal is “slated to open very soon.”
“It will surely help decongest traffic at the busy Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and provide a better flying experience for local and tourists alike,” The president added. NAIA, the international airport in Manila, is notorious for its air traffic congestion and delays.
The new terminal can serve a capacity of eight million passengers annually, double the current capacity of the airport. The new terminal is a four-story building and features a contactless baggage handling and passenger check-ins and check; it owns 18 aerobridges and covers 110,000 square meters.
Cebu Pacific Airways, the low-cost carrier in the Philippines, welcomed the latest expansion of the airport. The carrier is expected to benefit from the airport expansion, and it will expand its route map in the future. The airline started servicing Clark Airport in 2006 and provided the international routes before the pandemic, including to Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and Tokyo.
“We look forward to restoring our network once travel restrictions ease and passenger demand picks up,” Xander Lao, the airline’s Chief Commercial Officer, said.
Vince Dizon, the chief officer of Luzon International Premiere Airport Development Corporation (LIPAD), said, “Clearly, we will not reach eight million passengers right away, but we want to put the country in a strong position to respond to the demand for travel when it comes.” LIPAD is the operator of the airport. In addition, Singapore’s Changi Airports International is one of the share-holders of LIPAD.
Arthur Tugade, the Department of Transport Secretary, believed the new terminal would not only provide a modern air travel experience but will boost the economy. The new terminal is forecasted to create 150,000 new jobs, 0.4% of the manpower in the country. In addition, Tugade believed Clark Airport could become “the next premier gateway of Asia.”
Clark International Airport is not the only ongoing project in the country. In response to the overcrowding of NAIA, the New Manila International Airport is being built at the moment. The new airport is located in Bulacan, which is close to northern and central Luzon and expected to be launched in 2025. San Miguel Corp, the parent company of New Manila International Airport, will operate the airport for 50 years. The new airport will have four runways and cater to up to 200 million passengers annually.