LIPAD to take over Clark airport

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Clark airport

THE consortium led by JG Summit Holdings, Inc. and Filinvest Development Corp. (FDC) is preparing to take over the operations and maintenance (O&M) of the Clark International Airport by the end of the week.

“By Aug. 16, we’ll be ready to turn over the O&M (of Clark International Airport) to LIPAD Corp.,” Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade said last week.

Luzon International Premier Airport Development (LIPAD) Corp. is composed of JG Summit, FDC, Philippine Airport Ground Support Solutions, Inc.(PAGSS) and Changi Airports Philippines (I) Pte. Ltd.

LIPAD Chief Executive Officer Bi Yong Chungunco said the company will take over Clark airport’s existing passenger terminal building, while the new terminal is still being completed.

“As of now we just take over and see how it goes. We will look at all procedures and things like that. We’ll see what changes will be needed. But as of now, it’s okay,” she told reporters.

The new terminal, which is currently being built by the tandem of Megawide Construction Corp. and GMR Infrastructure Ltd., is scheduled to be finished by 2020. It will expand the capacity of the airport to 8 million passengers annually from the current level of 4.2 million.

“We are ready to open and make operational Terminal 2 of Clark by June at the earliest, July at the latest, of next year,” Mr. Tugade said.

Ms. Chungunco noted once the new terminal opens, LIPAD wants to repurpose the old terminal, citing several possibilities such as a turning it into a convention center.

“We’d like all the airlines to go to the new terminal. And then we repurpose the old terminal… Then once the new terminal maxed out the capacity, we go back to the old terminal. So that’s why we keep it on hold,” she said.

LIPAD, formerly called North Luzon Airport Consortium, was awarded by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) the 25-year O&M contract for the Clark airport in January.

Clark International Airport recorded 2.1 million passengers in the first half of the year, growing 63% from a year ago. It is being positioned as the alternative to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Pasay City. — Denise A. Valdez