DOTC to study turning Clark into PH's main int'l airport

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 12 2012 03:02 PM | Updated as of Jul 12 2012 11:02 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Transportation and Communication is financing a P100-million study on the feasibility of turning Clark International Airport into the main international airport of the country.

"The Aquino government is serious in making Clark International Airport as the main gateway of the country,” said Clark International Airport Corporation president and CEO Victor Jose Luciano.

The government is eyeing the development of a long-term program for Clark, which will include a new terminal. The existing terminal at Clark already exceeds its 2 million passenger capacity.

Among the local airlines that operate at Clark areCebu Pacific, Southeast Asian Airlines, AirPhil Express, ZestAir and AirAsia.

Luciano noted foreign carriers are also considering Clark airport. At present, foreign airlines operating at Clark are Asiana Airlines and Jin Air from South Korea; Tiger Airways from Singapore and Dragonair, subsidiary of Cathay Pacific.

With the increasing number of flights at Clark, CIAC reported a 54% growth in passenger volume in the first half of the year. From January to June, international and domestic passengers stood at 547,556 from the 354,585 recorded during the same period in 2011.

Luciano expressed confidence the Clark International Airport will hit its target of serving 5 million passengers by the end of 2012.

Earlier, Luciano said it may no longer feasible to build a P12 billion budget terminal in Clark, due to the increasing number of passengers and airlines.

"Although we have announced the construction of a budget terminal there are other options to look at. With all these massive growth happening in Clark, we are thinking of bigger projects either an international airport or a combination of legacy and budget terminal," he said.