Transport chief pushes Clark International Airport as transhipment hub

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Transport chief pushes Clark International Airport as transhipment hub
Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautistakeynoting the Clark International Airport Conference and Exhibit on May 26, 2023. Photo from PortCalls.
  • Transport Secretary Jaime Bautista urged the development of Clark International Airport (CRK) as a transshipment hub for international cargoes supported by aviation-related facilities
  • Bautista said CRK’s location “makes it an ideal transshipment hub for efficient movement of international cargo”
  • CRK head of operations Dante Basanta said part of CRK’s master plan is the development of an adjacent lot where aviation-related businesses such as MRO, fixed based operations, and cargo warehouses can be put up

Transport Secretary Jaime Bautista is pushing for the development of Clark International Airport (CRK) as a transshipment hub for international cargoes supported by aviation-related facilities.

“We should look at developing Clark Airport as a transshipment center aided by fixed-based operators capable of supporting international freight operations as well as MRO (maintenance, repair, and operations), and cargo facilities,” Bautista said in a keynote address at the CRK Conference and Exhibit themed “Clark International Airport: Emerging PH Gateway to Trade and Logistics” on May 26.

The event was co-organized by PortCalls and Philippine Multimodal Transport and Logistics Association and supported by CRK, Clark Development Corp and Subic-Clark Alliance for Development. More than 20 companies signed up as sponsors.

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The transport chief noted CRK’s location “makes it an ideal transshipment hub for efficient movement of international cargo.”

He said logistics giants FedEx and UPS, which currently operate regularly between CRK and China, “must have seen this airport’s great potential for cargo traffic.”

He said this potential “can be seen in the underutilized facilities and competent ground handlers” of the airport.

“Let us also come up with inviting new incentives for airlines to return and establish Clark as an aviation hub,” he added.

According to Bautista, CRK’s cargo volumes have been affected by the pandemic but the 37,000 tons of cargo registered in 2022 “is fast catching up with the 48,000 tons flown in 2014”.

The transport chief said he hopes to see more regional and international flights from three local airlines, Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Air Asia.

CRK head of operations Dante Basanta, in a presentation during the conference, said part of CRK’s master plan is the development of the 750-hectare civil aviation complex adjacent to the airport terminal.

The adjacent lot is part of the 25-year concession won by CRK’s private operator, Luzon International Premiere Airport Development Corp., in 2019. – Roumina Pablo