Clark airport to spur economic growth in CL

While tourism benefits from the improved connectivity and mobility offered by the world-class Clark International Airport, the gateway will also spur economic activity in Central Luzon (CL).

During his inspection of the newly completed passenger terminal building (PTB) of the Clark International Airport (CRK) Terminal 2 in Pampanga on Saturday, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte said the government was bent on improving the quality of life of each Filipino through its massive Build, Build, Build infrastructure program.

“This structure before us reflects the administration’s unyielding commitment to improve the quality of life of every Filipino by providing big-ticket infrastructure projects such as this that will improve connectivity [and] mobility, create jobs and spur economic activity in the regions,” Duterte said in his speech.

For Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur “Art” Tugade, the CRK is a realized dream.

“I am happy to be standing before you today that my dreaming is over. This is now a reality waiting to be used. This facility is filled with features, many of which had been unthinkable in the Republic of the Philippines, in the history of this country,” Tugade said.

Groomed as “Asia’s Next Premier Gateway,” the state-of-the-art international airport is equipped with contactless baggage handling, passenger check-ins and check-outs, and an ordering system that will make travel by air hassle free and effortless, according to Tugade.

CRK also features many firsts such as gender-inclusive and persons with disability-friendly restrooms, advanced docking guidance systems and a Heroes Lounge for soldiers, police officers and overseas Filipino workers.

Tugade added that CRK also implements a silent airport policy. This means announcements using the public address system will be limited.

As a testament to improved mobility and connectivity, CRK will also be connected to the Philippine National Railways Clark station that will allow passengers from Metro Manila to reach the airport in just 55 minutes.

“This is one facility by the Build, Build, Build team that we can truly be proud of not only as a Kapampangan, but most importantly, as a citizen of the country. Dati pa-drawing drawing lang. Ngayon, ito ay ginawa at ginawa. Ito po ‘yung naging bunga (Before, this was just a drawn-up plan. Now, it has been continuously built. This is the fruit that it bore.),” Tugade said.

Apart from having provided Filipinos with jobs during the construction of its development projects, Tugade said the CRK will have a “multiplier effect” that will, likewise, benefit the hospitality and tourism industries and help the local economy flourish.

Over 1,600 Filipinos were employed during the construction phase of the airport.

Meanwhile, Bases Conversion and Development Authority President and Chief Executive Officer Vince Dizon explained that CRK’s new PTB was completed in record time amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Despite of all challenges of the pandemic, in only three years, Mr. President, despite the surge of Covid-19, this truly world-class airport is now here for every Filipino to enjoy,” Dizon said.

Operations of the CRK will begin within the year as part of efforts to decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila.

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