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Clark Airport budgets P1.2 B for capex

MANILA, Philippines - Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) is setting aside about P1.2 billion for capital expenditures in 2014 to support its 30 percent target increase in passenger frequency, a top company official said.

CIAC president and CEO Victor Jose Luciano, in an interview with The STAR, said next year’s capex would be more than double the P600 million to P700 million budget alloted this year.

From only 8,000 passengers at the start of CIAC’s operations in 2004, the airport registered 1.3 million passengers in 2012.

This year, with Air Asia’s decision to concentrate operations in Manila, Luciano said the frequency of Clark Airport is expected to remain at the same level as last year.

With additional flights  such as the maiden flights from Qatar and Emirates, the airport’s frequency will climb to 1.7 million to 1.8 million in 2014.

The expanded Clark Airport, which will now be half of the floor area of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) 1, will be inaugurated today in time with  Qatar Airways’ maiden flight.

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The newly-expanded airport, which has an nnual capacity of four million passengers, will house the departure area with 34 check-in counters. The old Clark will be solely for the arrival area of the airport.

Luciano said they are currently  in talks with other airlines  as Clark Airport could accommodate more passengers.

Once the US Federal Aviation Administration lifted the downgrade of the Philippines from Category 2 to Category 1, Clark Airport expects more flights from the Middle East and US territories such as Guam, Hawaii and West Coast.

CIAC is also further expanding the airport facilities, adding a P7.2-billion budget terminal which will house all low-cost carriers operating in the area.

The Clark budget terminal will start construction by the second quarter of 2014 after a design study by Aeroport de Paris of France is completed and approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

With the expansion of Clark Airport, it is also expected that tourism  in the Central Luzon region would also boom.

Luciano said new hotels by SM Radisson and Fontana Midori are expected to be built within the area.

He said they hope investors would likewise study the possibility of putting up convention centers in the area.



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