San Pedro: Feasibility Study-A A +A
Check and Balance
Sunday, July 15, 2012
THE Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) has reportedly set aside P100 million for the conduct of a feasibility study of the ever-growing Clark International Airport.
There were already several feasibility studies conducted for the development of the Clark airport, and to my memory not one of them had been utilized by the national government. Why not pour the P100 million instead to the development of the legacy terminal at the Clark airport? I am just asking.
For this year, the Clark airport is expected to post over one million passengers, a 56 percent increase from the previous 765,000 passengers recorded in 2011. From its inception, passenger volume in the Clark airport increases by the year -- from merely nothing after the Pinatubo eruptions in 1991 to over one million passengers starting this year.
The feasibility study is different from the P12-billion Budget Terminal proposed to by CIAC to the DOTC. CIAC is currently in the process of evaluating the bid on the P360-million Phase II project or the expansion of the existing Clark terminal.
CIAC President and CEO Victor Jose Luciano said the feasibility study is to increase capacity at the Clark airport to over 12 million passengers annually from the current two million passengers. A much bigger airport terminal would be able to handle the new generation of aircraft such as the Airbus A380 and the Boeing B787 Dreamliner.
A local businessman who asked not to be named said: “Why not invite duty free operators to develop the budget terminal?”
The duty free stores like Puregold can easily develop a warehouse-type terminal similar to the Budget Terminal in Singapore. Most of the budget terminals around Asia have a simpler warehouse-type layout and do not have aerobridges because the concept of the budget carriers is to cut cost and turn around quickly.
There is a dire need to expand the Clark airport and we have to do it quick. Aside from building the modern Clark airport, we should also improve safety and security in the country’s gateways so that we can reacquire Category 1 rating from the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA). Category 2 and the tax regime on foreign carriers restrict the development of the aviation industry in our country.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on July 16, 2012.