If you have not been to the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta inside the Clark Freeport Zone, this year may be your last chance to visit.
According to airport authorities, the annual international festival may be held for the last time inside the Clark International Airport (CRK) as the government intends to make full use of Pampanga's own international airport.
“Given the full support of President Duterte and Secretary Tugade for the immediate development of CRK, the CIAC (Clark International Airport Corporation) will recommend to concerned parties that next year’s hot air balloon fiesta be held outside of the immediate air space of CRK,” according to Alexander S. Cauguiran, president of CIAC.
The three-year Memorandum of Agreement entered into in 2014 by the Clark Development Corporation, the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta Foundation and CIAC will expire this year, according to airport authorities.
Meanwhile, the airport management reiterated that the hot air balloon festival has never affected the commercial operations of the airport. Ritche Nacpil, manager for airport operations, said that Caguiran instructed that no balloon will take off until the only commercial flight scheduled to depart at 7:00 a.m., which is the Cebu Pacific flight to Hong Kong, has already left.
“During the past 20 years that the balloon fiesta was held at Clark, no commercial flight has been delayed due to this event,” Nacpil said.