The Gotianun-led Clark International Airport consortium is unfazed by competition from San Miguel Corp.’s New Manila International Airport in Bulacan, which is targeted to be up and running by 2025.
Filinvest Development Corp. president and CEO Josephine Gotianun-Yap said Clark International Airport will be an attractive gateway because of the huge market in northern and central Luzon as well the National Capital Region which is now more accessible because of new roads.
“Clark has a huge catchment area covering both northern and central Luzon regions with about 24 million inhabitants in addition to access to the NCR market. It’s superior accessibility thru the various markets through the SLEX-NLEX connector road, the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway, the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway and the South Commuter Railway project will make it accessible and an attractive gateway,” Gotianun-Yap said on Friday during the FDC’s annual stockholders meeting in response to a question on how the Bulacan Airport will affect Clark’s operations.
FDC is the lead consortium member of the Luzon International Premier Airport Development Corporation (LIPAD) which would fulfill the 25-year agreement to develop commercial assets, operate and maintain project facilities and fit-out the new terminal in the Clark International Airport in Pampanga.
Its partners for the Clark International Airport project are Gokongwei-owned JG Summit, Changi Airports Philippines (I) Pte., Ltd. and Philippine Airport Ground Support Solutions Inc.
LIPAD will develop the airport’s commercial assets, operate and maintain project facilities, and fit-out the new terminal, which is under construction.
Aside from the new roads, Gotianun-Yap said the Clark Freeport Zone and The Freeport City will remain to be a strong base for business.
“With over 1,000 locators, mostly international locators, are based in Clark,” she said, adding that all these factors would likewise make Clark an attractive gateway.
Asked if LIPAD would also be interested in the development of the planned Sangley Airport in Cavite, Gotianun-Yap said the group has not made or signified interest in participating in Sangley.
The P734-billion Bulacan Airport proposal, on the other hand, is a greenfield project proposed by SMC as an alternate gateway to the decongested Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the country’s main gateway.
SMC will build and operate the 2,500-hectare “Airport City” in Bulakan town.