(WAVE. Roof girders of the new Clark airport terminal seem to undulate in the wind. Photo by Deng Pangilinan)
CLARK FREEPORT – The new terminal building of the Clark airport will be fi nished ahead of schedule in June next year.
This was the observation made by government officials led by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III during Wednesday’s inspection of its ongoing construction.
“We are looking forward to this project’s completion ahead of schedule,” Dominguez said as he noted that the building is already 53 percent complete.
The new terminal will be operational by mid-2020. By then, passenger capacity will be tripled, adding another eight million to the current capacity of 4.2 million.
Dominguez cited the need to reap the benefits of Build Build Build program “at the soonest possible time.”
“We should keep in mind that it should be PPPP. Public Private Partnership for the People,” he added.
Full airport development which spans four phases will generate over 80 million passengers annually, making the DMIA at par with the biggest airports not only in the region but in the world.
The development of the airport is guided by the master plan and feasibility study of the Aeroport de Paris Ingenierie (ADPI) completed in 2013 and pursued through a grant by the French government.
Engr. Joshua Bingcang, BCDA senior vice president for business development and operations, said the number of domestic passengers for Clark has increased dramatically by 4,812 percent from only 51,625 passengers in 2016 to a projected 2.5 million by yearend.
On the other hand, international passengers are expected to reach over 1.5 million by 2019 representing a 72 percent increase from 899,000 passengers in 2016.
Domestic flights have increased exponentially by 8,866 percent from only six flights in 2016 to 538 in 2019. The number of international flights is expected to double by 2019 from 120 in 2016.
Upon full development, the DMIA will be the nation’s next premier gateway helping to clear the congestion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). Dominguez said the new terminal is the fastest infrastructure project to be implemented by the national government, setting the template for all other projects under the Build program.
“The expansion of the airport has been on the government’s drawing board for 20 years. Under the Duterte administration, the means and methods were found to finally make things happen,” he said. “We are looking forward to this project’s completion ahead of schedule.”
“This facility will anchor the rapid development of the other districts of Clark. It is not only a model for rapid implementation of projects but also a model for effective governance in the modern age,” Dominguez concluded.
Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) president-CEO Vince Dizon noted that the new terminal is the first hybrid PPP project implemented under the Duterte administration.
Meanwhile, Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade has announced that the second runway of the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) here will be finished before the term of President Duterte ends in 2022.
Tugade made the announcement during the inspection of the ongoing construction of the new terminal building of the DMIA on Wednesday.
“We would like to announce that government will begin planning and will construct the second runway in accordance with the ADPI master plan. We are eyeing completion of this runway before the end of the term of the President,” he assured.
Tugade said now is the time to “retract and retrace the plans” for a second runway.
Jaime Alberto Melo, Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) president-CEO, said “the impact of building another runway doubles the capacity of the airport. It can cater to three more terminals such as this (referring to the new passenger terminal).”
He said “the growth of the Clark international airport in the last two and a half years has been way above projection.”
Also present during the inspection of the terminal expansion project were Senators JV Ejercito and Joel Villanueva, Megawide GMR chairman Edgar Saavedra, Megawide GMR director Manuel Louise Ferrer, Filinvest Development Corp. president-CEO Lourdes Josephine Gotianun-Yap, and Luzon International Premiere Airport Development Corp. president Bi Yong Chungunco.