By Chino S. Leyco
The Duterte administration sealed the long-term operations and maintenance (O&M) concession for the Clark International Airport, the first airport project under the government’s “hybrid” public-private partnership (PPP) scheme.
In a statement, International Finance Corp. (IFC) announced that the 25-year concession for the country’s second main gateway was recently finalized between the Bases Conversation and Development Authority (BCDA) and the North Luzon Airport Consortium.
Based on the agreement, the consortium, comprising Changi Airport of Singapore, Filinvest Corp., JG Summit and Philippine Airport Ground Support Solutions, will take charge of the Clark airport’s O&M, involving the equipping and full management of the entire airport facility in Pampanga.
Under the project, a new 100,000-square meter passenger terminal will be built, positioning the airport as a world-class facility and boosting air transport capacity for the greater capital region.
Once completed, the Clark airport will serve an estimated eight million passengers annually, which is four times its current capacity of two million and is expected to reduce the strain on the congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
“The project will also help create jobs and increase development in central Luzon, a growing economic center,” IFC said.
The World Bank group member was the lead transaction advisor to BCDA in helping structure and tender both the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC), which was concluded in 2017, as well as O&M contracts.
IFC also prepared the project and conducted competitive tenders with support from the World Bank’s Global Infrastructure Facility (GIF).
Vivek Pathak, IFC East Asia and Pacific director said the project demonstrated their willingness to test and try out new PPP models in support of the government’s goal to deliver crucial infrastructure that is key to sustaining the country’s growth momentum.
“The handover of the airport to a globally-recognized operator will also help ensure quality service delivery and boost traffic connectivity to the northern provinces of the country — as well as to the region and the rest of the world,” Pathak said.