By Emmie V. Abadilla
The government should release Clark International Airport (CRK)’s P2.89-billion development fund immediately now that flights and passengers have increased versus 3-5 ago, urged Clark International Airport Authority (CIAC) President and CEO Alexander Cauguiran.
At present, the CIAC management is working double time for the download of the fund’s first tranche from the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
The proposed Terminal-2 budget is under the General Appropriation Acts of 2015 and 2016 and, as provided by law, will be reverted to the national treasury if not used by December this year.
Executive Order (EO) 64, signed by President Benigno Aquino III on December 21, 2011, transferred CIAC from the Office of the President and made it a DOTr attached agency.
In 2016, CRK logged in 6,205 international and domestic flights with 950,732 passengers for local and foreign routes, he noted.
Numbers are expected to increase further this year as more airlines are mounting flights at CRK, possibly including routes to North America.
“Once CIAC receives the funds from DOTr, we will immediately procure the detailed engineering and design (DED) consultants for the bid out and award of contract for the new terminal building,” Cauiguran elaborated.
The bid and award process can be completed by the third quarter of 2017.
Earlier, the government announced the construction of a new Clark airport terminal the first of four design phases―for domestic and international passengers with an 8-million-visitor capacity to be finished before the term of President Rodrigo Duterte ends.
The new Clark airport terminal, situated in the 2,367-hectare Clark Civil Aviation Complex, was designed by the French firm Aéroports de Paris.
It occupies 82,000 square meters with a capacity for eight million passengers and can be expanded to accommodate 16 million passengers.
Meanwhile, Air Asia will launch thrice weekly Clark-Kalibo flights starting March 27, 2017 and four times weekly flights to and from Davao by April 22, boosting CRK’s passenger traffic.
Philippine Airlines (PAL) operates domestic flights from CRK to Caticlan, Cebu, Davao, as well as international flights via Incheon in South Korea. The flag carrier will start servicing a Palawan route via Puerto Princesa and Busuanga this March 26.
The CRK hosts other airlines, such as Emirates Airlines via Dubai, Qatar Airways via Doha, Asiana Airlines via Incheon, Jin Air via Incheon and Busan, Cebu Pacific Air via Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and domestic flights to Cebu, along with Cathay Dragon via Hong Kong and Tiger Air via Singapore.
International cargo service giants FedEx and UPS likewise mount a weekly average of 23 international and domestic cargo flights at CRK.