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MANILA, Philippines – Plans for new airport facility at Clark in Pampanga by 2015 are underway as the government pursues a feasibility study for a P12 billion budget terminal facility that could accommodate 10 million passengers a year.
The results of the study are required before the government could auction the airport project under the Aquino government’s public-private partnership program for infrastructure.
The study, which a top airport official said Asia Foundation will conduct for free, will be completed by end of March or early April, thus making the project bidding possible this year.
“We expect the study to be concluded by end of March or first week of April. I will then brief the DOTC (Department of Transportation and Communications) secretary about it,” said Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) president Victor Luciano in an interview.
This mode pursues a competitive public bidding, which is at the core of the PPP strategy. Previously, the groups of local conglomerates Metro Pacific Investment Corp and San Miguel Corp. separately pursued the Clark airport terminal as an unsolicited project.
10-million passenger capacity
The budget terminal will handle about 10 million passengers a year and will sit on a 40-hectare property of the government. This new terminal will be linked to the existing passenger terminal.
“It will be on the ground and operational by 2015. The terminal itself will cost only P4 billion. But the civil works, new software system, and equipment are going to be expensive. We need a huge area where the airplanes will be parked. The pavement is going to be expensive,” said Luciano.
The official underscored the need to put up a new passenger terminal for budget carriers flocking to Clark. “Our existing terminal is not going to handle the rising number of passengers. It is being expanded, yes. But it may not handle future traffic,” said Luciano.
The volume of passengers within the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) is expected to jump to one million this 2012 from 765,000 in 2011 and 600,000 passengers in 2010.
“Budget airlines are coming in and adding more planes. That’s where the growth will come from,” said Luciano.
On Tuesday, February 7, AirAsia Philippines, a new entrant in the local airline industry, was granted their license to operate. They expect to launch maiden flights starting March from its hub at Clark. – Rappler.com