By Emmie V. Abadilla
State-owned Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) recently assured private firm Luzon International Premiere Airport Development Corp. (LIPAD) of a smooth turnover of the operations and maintenance (O&M) of Clark International Airport within the year.
LIPAD is the corporate name of the North Luzon Airport Consortium (NLAC), composed of Changi Airports Philippines Pte. Ltd., Filinvest Development Corp., JG Summit Holdings, Inc. and Philippine Airport Ground Support Solutions, Inc.
“Key officials (of the CIAC) are closely coordinating with the O&M consortium and we’ll be working together to ensure a smooth transition,” co firmed Jaime Alberto Melo, CIAC president, during the mid-month kickoff meeting at the office of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) in the Freeport zone.
The CIAC and LIPAD will develop handover protocols for BCDA’s approval, he added. The BCDA is the parent company of CIAC while airport operations are under the supervision of the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
CIAC officials representing the offices of airport operations, human resources, marketing and finance, legal, information technology and public relations set up initial turnover plans for the transition to O&M.
The target date for both parties for the asset handover was set on July 20 , or 180 days after the signing of the O&M concession agreement.
On January 22, the Changi-led consortium signed a 25-year concession agreement with the government to develop Clark Airport’s commercial assets as well as operate and maintain its new terminal building, which will be opened for business by 2021.
The O&M consortium will build on the success of BCDA and CIAC and is committed to the accelerated growth of Clark airport as the premiere international gateway of Central and Northern Luzon to the world.
“With the government’s strong collaboration, the O&M implementation plan will ensure the riding public of further improvements in the quality of customer and flights services,” Melo maintained.
The Clark International Airport Expansion Project was the first successful hybrid public-private partnership project under the Duterte administration.
The Clark airport averages around 11,500 passengers daily and registers 246 international and 480 domestic flights every week. Its targets is to accommodate 4.5 million annual passengers by 2022.