New Clark passenger terminal to operate in six months – Tugade
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade wants the new Clark International Airport (CRK) passenger terminal to be operational by January 2021.
This was the marching order given by Tugade to Luzon International Premier Airport Development Corporation Chief Executive Officer Bi Yong Chungunco when he inspected the new passenger terminal here on Wednesday, July 15.
“Let’s make this operational, at the latest, January of next year,” Tugade said.
Construction started April of 2018, and was set to be finished by July or August this year.
However, hampered by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the original plan of opening the new terminal was given a five-month extension.
“I remember you have a deadline with me and that deadline is July 30 of this year. So we’ll be late by August, September, October, November, December – five months. I am not inclined to make any extensions after that,” Tugade noted.
Meanwhile, Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) President and Chief Executive Officer Vince Dizon, who is also the Presidential Adviser for Flagship Programs and Projects, lauded the fast pace by which the mega infrastructure project was developed.
“I think from conceptualization to approval, now to execution and completion, I think the Duterte administration can boast of this as the fastest mega infrastructure project any government or any administration has undertaken” Dizon said.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said he was confident that the new facility would be finished in six months, and that it will be a critical component for tourism and international in northern and central Luzon.
“This facility is very important for us because it opens up to the international market, the Central Luzon area and this will help passengers especially for northern part of Luzon to access international flights in-and-out, so this is (so) critical for the development of tourism and the international trade in Central and Northern Luzon,” he said.
Tugade also disclosed that they were already planning to construct a second runway to complement the new passenger terminal, which would boost CRK’s annual passenger capacity to 10 million.
“Pinag-uusapan na natin yung second runway diba? Naniniwala kami na within a period of time, sisikip din dito, kaya gusto naming maumpisahan na (We were already talking about the second runway, right? We believe that, within a period of time, this will become congested also, so we want to start soon),” Tugade said.
According to newly installed Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) President and Chief Executive Officer Aaron Aquino, plans are also afoot to construct a new air traffic control tower, as well as a new airport radar.
Tugade looked back at how they worked for the blueprint of the new passenger terminal when everyone seemed to doubt it.
“When we said we will use wood, may doubt, when we said, when we stand in the lobby we want to see Arayat and Zambales and green areas that surround, nobody believes. Today when they see the wood, they must believe. When they walk there and see Arayat and Zambales on the side and the mountains passing through the mirrors, they should believe” he said.