CLARK FREEPORT – The most accessible roads in this freeport leading to the Clark International Airport (CIA) here will soon be closed and restricted only to military personnel based on an advisory letter from the Philippine Air Force (PAF) dated April 13.
Citing “the guidance from Higher Headquarters regarding the enhancement of security and physical safety of PAF personnel and equipment within the Air Force City operations area,” the commander of the 600th Air Base Group said the PAF will be limiting vehicles entering the Air Force City.
“Only vehicles with decal under AFP Project Hawkeye will be allowed to pass through or enter the Air Force City operational area,” the advisory-letter said.
Signed by group commander Lt. Col. Jerome Erwin Santiago, the advisory letter also said “Boom Gates will be installed along A. Bonifacio Avenue and CM Recto Avenue” to restrict the area.
But even before its full implementation, the PAF’s plan has met stiff opposition from Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) president-CEO Alexander Cauguiran.
“I am opposed to it,” he said.
“It will cause inconvenience, confusion and traffic congestion not only to our passengers but to the general public as a whole.”
“Aside from thousands of passengers, our locators, concessionaires, ground handlers and (maintenance, repair and operations companies) MROs numbering to thousands of employees and their guests would also be seriously affected by the intended closure,” Cauguiran pointed out.
The CIA serves 7,966 passengers daily, P2P buses, taxis and PUVs which will be affected tremendously if the PAF plan is implemented, he said.
Cauguiran said more or less 8,000 travelers orpassengers passing the said roads will be greatly inconvenience.
The CIA serves 158 international weekly flights as well as 323 domestic weekly flights.
CM Recto Avenue is the main road leading to the CIA for vehicles coming from the freeport’s main gate and passing along MA Roxas Avenue.
CM Recto is also the road leading to the CIA for vehicles coming from the Mabalacat Gate in the northeast.
On the other hand, A. Bonifacio Avenue is the road from the main MA Roxas Avenue leading directly to the CIA.
However, the PAF has long restricted the use of this road only to military personnel. The closure of CM Recto will follow a circuitous route to and from the Clark airport.