THE NEW passenger terminal of Clark International Airport, which is expected to increase the airport’s overall capacity to 12.2 million passengers yearly, is set to be operational by July, the Department of Transportation (DoTr) said.

Transportation Assistant Secretary for Communications Goddes Hope O. Libiran said in a phone message to BusinessWorld on Thursday that the new passenger terminal is set to be “operational” by July.

In its annual report obtained by BusinessWorld on Wednesday, the DoTr said: “With the new terminal set for completion by July 2020, CRK’s (Clark International Airport) overall capacity will increase to 12.2 million passengers annually.”

It also noted that new routes continue to be added to the airport, “with direct flights from Iloilo, Bacolod, and Narita, Japan now available.”

Clark International Airport has an annual capacity of 4.2 million passengers with the current terminal building.

The DoTr said in a statement Thursday that the P12.55-billion-project is deemed 93.31% complete.

“Ongoing works which are in various stages of completion include the exterior finishes, ancillary facilities, specialist systems and equipment, as well as the landside works,” the DoTr added.

According to the official website of the Public-Private Partnership Center, the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction Contract was signed in January 2018.

The new passenger terminal building, which will have an annual capacity of 8 million passengers, is being built by Megawide Construction Corp. and GMR Infrastructure Ltd.

“As the DoTr continues to rehabilitate NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport), more airports are being added while existing gateways are being expanded. For Secretary (Arthur P.) Tugade, the construction and rehabilitation of alternative airports will boost connectivity and mobility for Filipinos, giving them additional travel options,” the transportation department said.

Clark airport is being pushed by the government as an alternative to Manila’s NAIA, which has been operating beyond its 30.5 million passenger capacity, recording throughput of 45.3 million passengers in 2018, 42 million in 2017 and 39.5 million in 2016.

“These developments at Clark International Airport are seen not just to help ease congestion at NAIA, but also to generate various jobs and push for economic growth in North and Central Luzon,” the DoTr said. — Arjay L. Balinbin