CLARK FREEPORT -- The Clark International Airport (CRK) is ready for a big passenger volume during the Christmas season, an executive of the airport operator said on Monday.

Alexander Cauguiran, Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) acting president and CEO, said CIAC personnel, particularly from the airport operations team, were directed to ensure the security and comfort of passengers.

The Clark airport crew was also asked to sustain the level of stringent security measures applied during the recent Asean leaders’ arrivals at the airport.

“During this time of year, mostly OFWs and their families contribute to the increase in passenger volume at Clark. The expected influx of passengers (is also due) to the additional domestic destinations linking CRK to other destinations in the Visayas region,” Cauguiran said.

The CIAC chief added Clark’s readiness during the Christmas holidays is in accordance with the Balik-Pasko 2017 Program of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) for the 35 airports nationwide to ensure passengers’ safety.

Personnel from the Philippine National Police (PNP) Aviation Security Unit and K-9 units complement CIAC’s security staff around the vicinity of the Passenger Terminal Building.

The airport operations team has also installed more CCTVs, intensified police patrols and inspection of vehicles, cargo and baggage.

Cauguiran announced that Philippine Airlines (PAL) and its subsidiary PALEx have started their flights from Clark to Davao, Masbate, Calbayog and Catarman last December 1.

On December 15, PAL will commence servicing its CRK-Bacolod thrice weekly flights and daily flights to Tagbilaran (Bohol).

The flag carrier will also start its Cagayan De Oro flights on December 16, while the CRK-Virac (Catanduanes) route will begin on December 18.

Air Asia Philippines, on the other hand, will start its Clark-Caticlan route on December 15, and its Puerto Princesa, Iloilo and Tacloban flights on January 26.

Clark airport is expected to get busier at the start of next year as more destinations are expected to be launched by airlines starting January.

According to Cauguiran, other negotiations for direct flights from Clark to the US, Japan, Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, Taiwan and Thailand are ongoing.

Clark airport serves a growing network of 14 domestic and eight international destinations and is connected to various global destinations via the networks of Emirates, Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific, Asiana, Jetstar, Jin Air and China Eastern.