San Pedro: Fastest growing airport

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By Arnel San Pedro

Check and Balance

Sunday, January 6, 2013


WITH over 1.3 million passengers recorded last year, the Clark International Airport is currently the “fastest growing airport” in the country today.

The Clark airport posted some 1,312,979 passengers in 2012 compared to 767,109 passengers in 2011 or a 71.16 percent increase. The 3rd Best Airport Zone in the world is destined for something bigger this year which include the expansion program of existing airlines and the entry of more airlines.

This month, the Clark airport will also open the Trinoma Bus Station which will have dedicated buses that will ply the route Trinoma-Clark-Trinoma on a 24-basis. The buses will pass via the Mindanao Avenue to avoid the heavy traffic along Edsa providing for a seamless travel to Clark airport. Passengers from Manila and the Calabarzon area who wish to take the Clark flights can simply take the buses from the Trinoma Bus Station and it will take less at least an hour to get to Clark.

As the passenger volume in the Clark airport increases by the year, there is now a dire need to increase capacity of the existing Clark airport terminal which can only hold around 1 to 2 million passengers annually. Capacity woes had been also the main issue in other airports such as the Cebu-Mactan International Airport, which is currently expanding its existing terminal and adding a new one. The Cebu airport can only accommodate around 4 to 5 million passengers annually but passenger volume already exceeded over 6 million passengers in the last two years. The Department of Transportation and Communications has already earmarked at least P17.5 billion for the construction of the New Passenger Terminal Project that would add up some 3.8 million in passenger capacity at the Cebu airport.

Aircraft movement at the Clark airport in both international and domestic also increased to 68.81 percent or 12,794 flights per week, a far cry from the 80 flights per week in the past years.

The unprecedented growth in passenger volume was due mainly to the additional international and domestic flights particularly by AirAsia Philippines, the anchor airline of Clark airport.

AirAsia Philippines which is expected to carry 5 million passengers within the next five to seven years has committed to the overall development of local tourism and the aviation industry in Clark.

Clark airport plays host to eight budget carriers, namely: AirAsia Philippines, Air Asia Berhad of Malaysia, Cebu Pacific Air, Airphil Express, Seair-Tiger Airways, Jin Air and Zest Air.

Legacy airlines include Asiana Airlines of South Korea and Hong Kong-based Dragonair. On a daily basis, these airlines fly to Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, Malaysia, Macau, Incheon and Taiwan. Clark airport has also the lowest Terminal Fee in the country today at P450.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on January 07, 2013.

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