“We are currently in negotiations with air carriers, pertaining especially in connecting Clark to North America,” CIAC president and chief executive officer Alexander Cauguiran said on the sidelines of the Asia CEO Forum on February 8.
Cauguiran, however, declined to name these carriers, saying talks were still ongoing.
The CIAC chief said this route has a huge potential market in Regions 1 to 3 and the Camanava (Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela) area, representing a combined population of around 24.2 million.
“Clark ought to be the most logical and practical airport of choice of the people from the northern and central parts of Luzon,” Cauguiran said. This is because travelers from these parts can use Clark to avoid the traffic congestion going to over-crowded Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
Cauguiran also provided an update on CIAC’s plan to put up a new passenger terminal building with a capacity of eight million passengers annually.
He said the Department of Transportation’s intends to build the terminal by 2019, or before the current administration’s term ends. He also revealed there are studies that indicate the inevitable growth of passenger volume at CRK due to the increasing number of flights.
CIAC seeks to maximize in the next two to three years the existing terminal, which has an annual capacity of 4.2 million passengers.
“Plans of maximizing CRK are aligned with (Transportation) Secretary (Arthur) Tugade’s efforts to ease the congestion at the NAIA and in Metro Manila,” Cauguiran said.
Airlines have heeded the government’s call for more flights out of CRK. Local carriers like Philippine Airlines, Air Asia Philippines, and Cebu Pacific have recently inaugurated domestic and international flights, and more operations are set to be launched in the coming months.
Image courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net