Airport operator LIPAD explores turning old terminal into COVID-19 vaccination facility
MANILA (UPDATE) - Megawide and Indian partner GMR on Friday handed over to the government the newly completed Clark International Airport terminal, expected to start operations by July this year.
In a handover ceremony, Megawide-GMR turned over the new terminal to the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), and private airport operator Luzon International Premier Airport Development Corp. (LIPAD).
The new terminal has an 8.2-million passenger capacity and will replace the old terminal, which the government will retire.
LIPAD is proposing the conversion of the old terminal building into a mass COVID-19 vaccination hub, which can cover 10,000 vaccinations per day as early as May, LIPAD CEO Bi Yong Chungunco said during the event.
"The new terminal will replace the existing [terminal]. Transition is expected to happen in the same period and completed within the third quarter," Teri Flores, LIPAD's corporate communications manager, told ABS-CBN News through text.
'New premier gateway'
Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade, through representative Jim Syndiongco of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, said the airport is poised to be the "premier gateway for Central and Northern Luzon."
"The Clark International Airport new passenger terminal building is perhaps the fastest-built mega project by any government or any administration," he said, noting the project was delivered "ahead of schedule."
The terminal has 4 floor levels, 18 aero bridges, and has a floor area of 110,000 square meters.
It also has access roads, a bus station, and car parks.
Yong Chungunco shared that before the pandemic, the existing Clark terminal added 6 food and beverage (F&B) outlets, 4 international airlines, and had more than 50 percent growth in passengers, serving more than 4 million travelers.
Clark International Airport is part of the multi-airport strategy of the government with the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and the Bulacan airport, in a bid to decongest the country's main gateway in Metro Manila.