Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said on Wednesday that the Aquino administration is currently studying plans for the proposed P7.2-billion Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCC) at the Clark International Airport in Pampanga, following moves by a long-haul Middle East airlines to start international flights at the former United States facility.
In a statement, Abaya said that, “The government is currently studying the concept of a Low-Cost Carrier Terminal at the Clark Airport, because of its potential as gateway of the country.”
Victor Jose Luciano, Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) president and chief executive officer, earlier submitted to the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) the proposed LCC Terminal costing an initial P7.2 billion that would be set up at Clark Airport.
If fully operated, the budget terminal is designed to accommodate about 10 to 15 million passengers annually.
Luciano said that the LCC Terminal would accommodate low-cost carriers which are currently flying out of Clark. Among them are Cebu Pacific Air, Air Asia Berhad, Jin Air and Tiger Air Philippines.
Other long-haul airlines include Asiana Airlines of South Korea and Dragonair of Cathay Pacific. Luciano also said that the P360-million Passenger Terminal Building currently being constructed is expected to be fully completed by December this year, or six months ahead of the June 2014 deadline. The new passenger terminal is designed to accommodate five million passengers annually.
“President [Benigno] Aquino 3rd is fully supportive of the Middle East flights of Emirates Airlines at Clark Air via Dubai-Clark route,” said Abaya.
Mohammed Mattar, emirates divisional senior vice president for Airport Services of Emirates, expressed confidence that the traffic in Clark will grow as travelers in North Luzon would have the chance to take their flights at the Clark Airport instead going to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Metro Manila. Mattar also praised Luciano for a “job well done” at Clark Airport, citing various developments and improvements in its facilities.
There are about 1.5 million overseas workers in Saudi Arabia, 600,000 in the United Arab Emirate, and 150,000 in Bahrain.
“Rest assured that the government continues to attract more airlines, especially foreign carriers to mount flights at our airports in the country,” Abaya said.