By Rea Cu, March 28 2019; Business Mirror

Image Credit to Business Mirror

A SECOND runway will be built for the Clark International Airport, which is being eyed for completion by 2020, the Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) has revealed. It is seen to increase the passenger capacity of the airport.

During the site inspection for the Clark International Airport Expansion Project on Wednesday, CIAC President Jaime Alberto C. Melo revealed that the construction of a second runway is in the works and is targeted for completion within the term of the Duterte administration.

“We announce that the national government will begin planning and construct a second runway in accordance with the Aéroports de Paris Ingénierie (ADPI) masterplan. We aim to complete this before the end of the Duterte administration’s term,” Melo said.

Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade confirmed that the construction of a second runway was discussed on Tuesday night for the Clark International Airport.

“On a generic response, if there are more airplanes, then there are more passengers. What is the impact? There will be a numerical increase in passengers. [The target for 2019 for the Clark International Airport is] 2.5 million for domestic from 1 million before. So you can just imagine the percentage increase, that’s why we really need to put a second runway,” Tugade said.

Melo said the second runway is estimated to span 2 kilometers and will work simultaneously with the first runway of the Clark International Airport, which is seen to double its capacity.

Tugade said the second runway will further address congestion problems.

The Clark International Airport is envisioned to become a viable option for airport passengers as the government will also construct the Philippine National Railway North-South Commuter Railway project spanning from Manila to Laguna and will be extended to Clark for easier access to the Clark International Airport.

“If you add a facility to an existing facility, that will address congestion; you are now giving the public options. Clark becomes a viable option because in two and a half years you will see a train,” Tugade added.

June 2020 target

Meanwhile, the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) said that the Clark International Airport new terminal project is seen to open in June 2020, which is expected to accommodate more than 6 million passengers.

BCDA SVP for business development and operations group Joshua Bingcang said that the new terminal can be expanded further as the Clark international airport project includes five phases.

“This has the capacity to be expanded from 8 million to 16 million and then to reach up to 80 million passengers. And it has room for two more additional runways and three more additional terminals,” Bingcang said.

He said the Clark International Airport Expansion project is already 53-percent completed.

In terms of performance, the Clark International Airport has recorded 1.3 million domestic passengers in 2018 from 431,000 in 2017, Bingcang reported.

The domestic passenger target for this year is at 2.5 million, and for international passengers, 4 million.

“For this year, we expect more than 500 domestic flights and international flights to [reach] 246,” he added.

In terms of job creation, the expansion project is seen to generate 200,000 direct and indirect jobs, according to Sen. Joel Villanueva, who joined the site inspection.

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III noted that the Clark International Airport new terminal building is the first hybrid project under the “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program of the Duterte administration.

“We are looking forward to this project’s completion ahead of schedule by mid-2020,” Dominguez said.