The construction of the new passenger terminal building at the Clark International Airport has been completed.
In a statement on Tuesday, October 13, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said construction was finished end-September, ahead of the October deadline.
But even if the terminal has already been constructed, the DOTr said it will only become operational in January 2021.
Transportation Assistant Secretary Goddes Libiran explained that the terminal’s interiors, among others, will still have to be completed.
“[T]here is a need to ensure ‘operational readiness and transfer’ to ensure smooth transition, hence, operationalization is scheduled in January 2021,” said Libiran.
Clark airport operator Luzon International Premier Airport Development (Lipad) Corporation on Wednesday, October 14, said it has chosen international firm Populous as the lead interior designer for the new terminal building.
Populous had designed Kansai International Airport in Japan and the Philippine Arena, among others. For Clark, it will tap Casa+Architects as the local architect.
“The vision of Populous for CRK is to create a new terminal that is international in its standards and operations, but local in terms of its materiality and sense of place,” said Lipad on Wednesday.
Once operational, the new terminal is expected to increase the Clark airport passenger volume to 12.2 million. It is also seen to help decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport once pre-pandemic passenger traffic is back.
“The hope is actually to accommodate more passengers and flights, but flight frequency largely depends on airlines’ commercial consideration. Nevertheless, the government already provided and made available improved infrastructure for increased operational capacity,” said Libiran.
Airlines have drastically reduced flight frequencies to and from domestic and international destinations due to the coronavirus pandemic.