The new passenger terminal building (PTB) of Clark International Airport (CRK) in Pampanga is now finished, with only interior fittings left to be installed before its doors open to the public in January next year.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said the airport expansion project for the CRK was completed on September 30, ahead of its original completion date in October.
“The new PTB is slated to commence operations by January next year, as directed by DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade,” the DOTr said.
In a message, DOTr Assistant Secretary Goddes Libiran said the operationalization of the PTB was slated for next year to ensure “operational readiness and transfer.”
“The PTB fit-outs/interiors will still have to be completed. Likewise, there is a need to ensure operational readiness and transfer, to ensure a smooth transition,” Libiran said.
While the CRK is soon ready to accommodate more flights and passengers, she said flight frequency in CRK would largely depend on airlines and whether they can utilize its increased capacity.
“Nevertheless, the government already provided and made available improved infrastructure for increase operational capacity,” Libiran said.
Listed as among priority projects under the “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program of the Duterte administration, the PTB was completed under the “accelerated construction” order of the DOTr, the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), and GMR Megawide, while workers observed “strict health and safety protocols” due to the ongoing pandemic.
Once operational, the new PTB will almost triple CRK’s operational capacity from the present 4.2 million passengers to 12.2 million passengers per year.
Aside from its potential to decongest air and passenger traffic at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the development of CRK is also seen to encourage economic progress in Central Luzon and its neighboring areas. (PNA)