THE development of a new passenger terminal at the Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) is expected to help ease the congestion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and Metro Manila’s huge traffic problem, a top official said.
“The CIAC’s plan to put up a new passenger terminal building with a capacity of eight million passengers annually will also ease the congestion at the NAIA and in Metro Manila,” Alexander Cauguiran, CIAC president and chief executive officer, said during a tourism forum on Thursday.
Cauguiran said CIAC seeks to maximize the existing terminal, which has an annual capacity of 4.2 million passengers, in the next two to three years.
“Plans of maximizing CRK (Clark International Airport) are aligned with [Transportation] Secretary [Arthur] Tugade’s efforts to ease the congestion at the NAIA and in Metro Manila,” Cauguiran said.
“Clark ought to be the most logical and practical airport of choice of the people from the northern and central parts of Luzon,” he said, noting that travelers from these parts can use Clark to avoid the traffic congestion going to the already overcrowded NAIA.
“The Department of Transportation intends to build the terminal by 2019, or before the current administration’s term ends,” he said.
He also said studies indicate the inevitable growth of passenger volume at CRK due to the increasing number of flights, hence the need to build a new passenger terminal.
Meanwhile, he said airlines have heeded the government’s call for more flights out of CRK. Local carriers like Philippine Airlines, Air Asia Philippines, and Cebu Pacific recently inaugurated domestic and international flights from CRK and more operations are set to be launched in the coming months.
CIAC is now in talks to have more airlines connect CRK to North America, he added.
“We are currently in negotiations with air carriers, pertaining especially in connecting Clark to North America,” Cauguiran said. But he declined to name the carriers as the talks were still ongoing.
The CIAC chief said this route has a huge potential market from Regions 1 to 3 and the Camanava (Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela) area, which represent a combined population of around 24.2 million.