By Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) | Updated October 3, 2013 - 12:00am
CLARK, Pampanga, Philippines — Construction of the proposed P7.2-billion low cost carrier terminal at the Clark International Airport is expected to kick off in the second quarter of next year.
Victor Jose Luciano, president and chief executive officer of Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC), said on the sidelines of the press conference of Emirates on the inaugural Dubai-Clark-Dubai non-stop flights that construction of the budget terminal would take two years and would be completed by the second quarter of 2016.
Luciano said the proposed terminal would have a capacity of between 10 million and 15 million.
According to him, the government is looking whether it could fund the project or tap the private sector through the public private partnership (PPP) scheme.
Diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) and infrastructure giant Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) earlier offered to fund the construction of a new passenger terminal in the former US military airbase.
Luciano added that Aeroport de Paris of France has offered to conduct the detailed and design study for the proposed passenger terminal.
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Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said the Aquino administration is pushing for the construction of the proposed low cost carrier terminal to cope with passenger growth in line with the long-haul flights of Emirates and Qatar Airways.
“The government is currently studying the concept of a low cost carrier terminal at Clark Airport, because of its potential as gateway of the country,” Abaya said. The DOTC said President Aquino is fully supportive of the Middle East flights of Emirates via the Dubai-Clark route.
“Rest assured that the government continues to attract more airlines especially foreign carriers to mount flights at our airports in the country,” Abaya said.
Airlines that are expected to benefit from the proposed terminal include Cebu Air Inc. (Cebu Pacific), AirAsia Berhad of Malaysia, Jin Air of South Korea, Tiger Air Philippines, Asiana Airlines of South Korea, and Dragonair of Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific.
Meanwhile, Luciano revealed that the ongoing expansion of the existing passenger terminal valued at P360 million that started last July is expected to be completed six months ahead of schedule.
“The way things are going, the construction phase would be completed by December of this year, instead of the June 2014 deadline,” Luciano said.
He pointed out that the expanded passenger terminal is designed to accommodate five million passengers annually.Last year, the volume of passengers using the gateway surged 71 percent to 1.3 million passengers from 767,000 in 2011. – With Ding Cervantes