Home » Aviation, Ports/Terminals » P2.8B for Clark airport expansion still awaits DOTr release

Clark International Airport Authority (CIAC) said it is pushing for the release of the P2.89 billion in airport funds so that plans to develop Clark International Airport (CRK) will materialize.

CIAC president and chief executive officer Alexander Cauguiran said management is working double time to acquire the first tranche of the P2.89-billion budget from the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

“We are only in the first quarter of this year and the additional flights people are enjoying now have improved from three to five years ago which signify positive things to come for the premier airport of the North,” Cauguiran said.

CRK’s proposed Terminal 2 budget is under the General Appropriations Acts of 2015 and 2016 and, as provided by law, will be returned to the national treasury if not utilized by December this year.

Executive Order (EO) No. 64, signed by President Benigno Aquino III on December 21, 2011, transferred CIAC from the Office of the President to the DOTr as an attached agency of the department.

The CIAC chief said CRK in 2016 logged a total of 6,205 international and domestic flights with 950,732 passengers for local and foreign routes, numbers which are expected to increase this year as more airlines mount flights, possibly including to North America, from CRK.

“CIAC management is focused on hitting its target on time. Once CIAC receives the downloaded funds from the DOTr, management will immediately conduct procurement of detailed engineering and design (DED) consultants for the bid out and award of contract to implement horizontal civil works projects for the new terminal building,” Cauguiran said.

The bidding and the awarding of contract may be completed by the third quarter of this year, barring unforeseen obstacles, Cauguiran added.

Earlier, the government announced the construction of a new Clark airport terminal the first of four design phases for domestic and international passengers. The terminal will have a capacity of 8 million passengers and be finished before the current administration’s term ends. The project is part of the Duterte administration’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ infrastructure development thrust in the next five-and-a-half years.

“As always, due diligence results (in) an outcome most favorable to the government, and along with (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade and President Vince Dizon of BCDA (Bases Conversion and Development Authority), we are revalidating all aspects required for the new airport terminal project,” Cauguiran said.

The new Clark airport terminal, situated in the 2,367-hectare Clark Civil Aviation Complex, is designed by the French firm Aéroports de Paris and occupies 82,000 square meters. It has a capacity of eight million passengers, which may later be expanded to accommodate 16 million.

Meanwhile, Air Asia will launch thrice weekly Clark-Kalibo flights starting March 27 and four times weekly flights between Clark and Davao on April 22, two routes that are expected to further boost CRK’s passenger traffic.

Philippine Airlines has domestic flights at CRK to Caticlan, Cebu, and Davao, and international flights via Incheon in South Korea, and intends to open a Palawan route at CRK via Puerto Princesa and Busuanga by March 26.

The airport of the north hosts other airlines at its hub such as Emirates Airlines via Dubai; Qatar Airways via Doha; Asiana Airlines via Incheon; Jin Air via Incheon and Busan; and Cebu Pacific Air via Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and domestic flights to Cebu. There are also Cathay Dragon with flights at CRK via Hong Kong and Tiger Air via Singapore.

International express operators FedEx and UPS also mount a weekly average of 23 international and domestic cargo flights at CRK.

Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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