AirAsia Group Bhd will bid on an operation and maintenance contract for Clark International Airport in the Pampanga province of the Philippines. The Filipino airport is due to pass this year the two-million passengers’ mark.
In his tweet on Friday, Group Chief Executive Officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said the group, together with its subsidiaries in Indonesia and the Philippines, would be bidding for the airport’s 25-year operation and maintenance contract.
“Bringing Asean together. Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines to bid for Clark airport in Manila and build a big east Asean hub. Walking the talk on Asean. Kudos to Indonesia airports. Look what can be done in Asean when we work together,” he tweeted.
According to news reports, the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) said the preliminary timeline for the project indicates a target for contract awarding and signing on Aug 30, but BCDA will accept bids until late August.
Clark has been for over a decade dubbed as Manila new international gateway by taking over some of the passengers traffic of Manila main airport NAIA, which suffered of congestion. For many years, Clark even experienced a decline in total passengers between 2013 and 2014 when passengers dropped by 27% from 1.2 million to 0.88 million.
The airport started to recover only in 2016 with 0.95 million passengers in 2016. Last year, the airport finally reached a new historical record, reaching 1.51 million passengers; up by 59% over 2016. In the first half of 2018, growth even accelerated with 1.3 million passengers, up by 72.2% over the same period of 2017.
The development of the new terminal in Pampanga province, which is slated to be opened in July 2020, was attributed last year to the Philippines real estate developer Megawide-GMR.
The company will invest US$ 177 million, the equivalent of PHP9.36 billion. The future terminal aims to accommodate eight million passengers compared to the current terminal with a capacity of 2.5 million passengers. The construction of the future 100,000 m2 air terminal happened last December.
The BCDA is a government-owned and controlled corporation under the Office of the President of the Philippines. It engages in public-private partnerships to push forward vital public infrastructure such as tollways, airports, seaports, and also major real estate developments.