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Clark airport to LIPAD

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(TURNOVER. LIPAD CEO Bi Yong Chungunco receives Notice to Start O&M from DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade and BCDA president-CEO Vince Dizon. Joining them are Filinvest Development Corp. president-CEO Josephine Gotianun-Yap, CDC president-CEO Noel Manankil, CIAC president-CEO Jaime Melo and officers of the consortium. Photo by Bong Lacson)

CLARK FREEPORT – “Paliparin ninyo ang paliparan. Make it go. Make it glow. Make it grow. So, it becomes the envy of airports within this country and all over the world.”

Thus, Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade exhorted the Luzon International Premiere Airport Development Corp. (LIPAD) as he turned over the operations and maintenance of the Clark International Airport to the consortium Friday.

LIPAD, a consortium of JG Summit Holdings, Filinvest Development Corp., Philippine Airport Ground Support Solutions Inc., and Changi Airport Philippines, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Changi Airports International, will operate and manage the Clark airport for 25 years. The agreement covers the existing terminal and the new terminal currently under construction.

“This is Day One of Lipad O&M (operations and maintenance), the first public private partnership project awarded under the administration of President Duterte,” said LIPAD CEO Bi Yong Chungunco after receiving from Tugade the Notice to Start O&M and the Operating Franchise Certificate.

(Chungunco unveils new Clark airport logo. Photo by Bong Lacson)

Unveiling a new Clark airport logo, Chungunco announced that six additional food and beverage outlets, including Starbucks are slated to open at the current airport terminal and four new international airlines are expected to launch routes from Clark “in the next few months.”

To date, Clark airport covers 19 domestic and 12 international destinations serving 734 weekly flights from 17 airlines.

She said LIPAD is also in talks with the airlines to integrate terminal fees in the ticket price for more passenger convenience.

Addressing labor issues at the Clark International Airport Corp. from which LIPAD took over the airport operation, Chungunco noted “the remarkable acceptance rate” from the workers of the state-owned firm.

In his welcome remarks, Bases Conversion and Development Authority president-CEO Vince DIzon commended LIPAD for “its commitment in transforming Clark airport into one of the region’s premier gateways, alongside the development of whole Clark area.”

“The Duterte administration is fully committed in making Clark the next premier economic hub in Asia, and critical to this is the development of the Clark International Airport. We thank LIPAD, a powerhouse consortium for taking on the challenge of making CRK a major gateway in the country as we envision it to be one of the most modern airports in the world,” Dizon said.

The turnover rites were held at the new passenger terminal expected to start operations in mid-2020, doubling Clark airport’s capacity to eight million passengers annually.

Dizon made special note of the airport’s 20-meter ceiling as “the highest in all public facilities in the country.”

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