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Phl, France ink design pact for Clark terminal

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines and France are set to sign a memorandum of agreement for the plan and design of the P7.2-billion terminal at the Clark international airport in Pampanga.

Clark International Airport Corp. president and chief executive officer Victor Jose Luciano said the signing of the agreement would allow the French government’s Aeroports de Paris to plan and design the proposed terminal.

 “The French and the Philippine governments are set to sign a memorandum of agreement that will pave the way for French firm Airport Du Paris to plan and design a separate budget terminal for Clark Airport,” Luciano said.

He pointed out that the proposed budget terminal would have a capacity of 15 million passengers per year and is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2016.

According to him, the project to be undertaken in two phases would be funded by the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC).

The government was earlier looking whether it could fund the project or tap the private sector through the public private partnership (PPP) scheme after diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) and infrastructure giant Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) offered to fund the construction of a new passenger terminal in the former US military airbase.

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Airlines that are expected to benefit from the proposed terminal include budget airline Cebu Air Inc. (Cebu Pacific), AirAsia Berhad of Malaysia, Jin Air of South Korea, Tiger Air Philippines, Asiana Airlines of South Korea, and Dragonair of Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific.

The ongoing expansion of the existing passenger terminal valued at P360 million that started last July is expected to be completed early next year. The expanded passenger terminal is designed to accommodate five million passengers annually.

Last year, the volume of passengers at the Clark International Airport surged 71 percent to 1.3 million passengers from 767,000 in 2011.

Luciano said the CIAC management is gearing for a Category 10 rating which is the highest in the world for an airport from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

To get an upgrade from its current Category 9 rating from ICAO, he pointed out that CIAC is set to purchase two brand new Rapid Fire Trucks to beef-up its emergency capabilities.

He said the fire trucks could handle even the largest aircraft in the world such as the Airbus A380 and Boeing 777.

The DOTC is looking at putting into operation a new international airport by 2027 with the joint development of the congested NAIA and the Clark International Airport as number of passengers is expected to more than triple by 2040.

Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said a study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) showed that the number of passengers in Greater Capital Region would hit 106.7 million by 2040 from 31.88 million in 2012.

Abaya said the JICA study predicts that passengers from the National Capital Region as well as Central Luzon and Calabarzon would rise steadily to 49.8 million in 2020, 75 million in 2030, and 106.7 million in 2040.



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