By Cesar Cruz Jr.
Luzon International Premier Airport Development (LIPAD) Corporation is a special purpose company with the specific task to operate and manage Clark International Airport. This first Public-Private Partnership awarded under the Duterte Administration is made up of consortium members having a solid reputation in the field of airports, air transportation, and property development. The company is composed of Filinvest Development Corporation, JG Summit Holdings Inc., Philippine Airport Ground Support Solutions Inc. and Changi Airports Philippines (I) Pte. Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Changi Airports International.
CRK, located about 87 kms northwest of Manila, is fast rising as a travel hub in Central Luzon. Currently, CRK handles 19 domestic and 14 international destinations serving 686 weekly flights from a total of 18 airlines. It has become a popular alternative airport for Metro Manila and its 13.5 million dwellers. Clark, which used to be America’s largest Air Force base outside mainland US, is the place to be for leisure, fitness, entertainment, meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibition in Central Luzon.
Among the international flights that operate at CRK include Philippine Airlines, Emirates, Qatar Airways, Jetstar, Fly Gangwon, Scoot, Royal Air, JejuAir, JinAir, and Air Busan.
With domestic and international airlines routes to and from Clark increasing its numbers, it is only a matter of time before LIPAD Corp. achieves its goal of maximizing the design capacity of CRK.
What exactly does Clark International Airport offer?
Accessibility. Aside from being in partnership with Grab and P2P Bus Services, across the CRK new terminal building (300m away) will be the PNR Clark Phase 2 station. The structure will showcase the first of its kind Airport Railway Express Service that will link Makati City to Clark International Airport in only 55 minutes.
Spacious Layout. The new passenger terminal with a design capacity for 8 million passengers per year, has 4 floor levels, 18 aero bridges, and 6 baggage reclaim carousels – all housed in a total floor area of 110,000 square meters.
A Sense of Place. Lending a unique feel to the design is the neighboring landscapes of Central Luzon and the province of Pampanga. The roof structure, in particular, got its design inspiration from the mountain ranges of Zambales. The laminated timber used for the roof is known for its high strength and dimensional stability.
Interior Design. As for the decorative elements of the airport, LIPAD tapped into Populous, an award-winning global design firm and CASAS+ Architects as the local counterpart for the fit-out of the terminal. The design elements are centered around the passenger experience. Interestingly, the airport’s color palette is a reflection of the rich diversity of colors stemming from the area – subdued greens and blues, as well as soft grays and browns that represent riverbeds, caves, and bodies of water- the most famous of which is the turquoise crater lake of Mt. Pinatubo.
Check-In Hall. CRK aims to have 40 traditional check in counters, 40 self-service kiosks, and 4 self- bag drops fully operational in the future. To date, contactless features come in the form of 13 self-service kiosks and 2 self-bag drops.
Meet and Assist Service. In need of help? Allways Lounge provides various services such as transfer service, luggage wrapping, hotel reservation, and flower bouquet arrangement. Moreover, business center services such as printing, photocopying, and bag wrapping are provided as well.
Security Screening Area. A feature of CRK is that there will be no physical screening of luggages at the terminal entrance. Passengers are permitted to walk-in until the final security screening checkpoint.
Unlike in other airports, a passenger is allowed up to 2 companions inside. They could stay in the check in hall and the domestic food hall.
As of the moment, CRK has 4 x-ray machines and 1 automatic tray return system in operation.
Airside Retail Area. The airport currently has 1 international lounge – Plaza Premium Lounge which is operated by Plaza Premium group. Passengers have access to F&B, eNewspaper and eMagazines, televisions, workstation, nursery, wi-fi, showers, flight information and a smoking area. One more international lounge and one domestic lounge will be in operation in the future.
It will have a total of 12,00 square meters of commercial space. For Phase 1, it is leasing out almost 5000 square meters for lounge, F&B Services, Retail, Duty Free and Offices. To date, it has 11 dining concessionaires and 2 shopping concessionaires.
Amenities. These include Wi-Fi, all-gender restrooms, nursing stations, multi-faith prayer rooms, and a first of its kind OFW lounge as a tribute to our modern-day heroes.
International and Domestic Boarding Gates. The gates are color coded for easy reference. Green, which represents the landscape of Mt. Arayat, is seen from the international pre-boarding area. On the other hand, blue, which refers to the waters of Manila Bay, rules over the domestic boarding gates.
Passenger Boarding and Disembarkation. All boarding gates in this new terminal have their dedicated escalators and elevators for the comfort of its passengers.
Transfer Desk. For the convenience of international passengers, they could use the transfer desk upon arrival and go straight up to the departure area to wait for their next flight.
Arrival Immigration. It has e-gates for Filipino nationals.
Baggage Claim. It currently has a total of 5 baggage carousels servicing both international and domestic arrivals.
Meeters and Greeters’ Area. Here, passengers can get hold of services such as telco services, foreign exchange, travel desk, hotel lounge, and more.
With all that is has to offer, CRK is truly a world-class international airport every Filipino should be proud of.