State-run Bases Conversion and Development Authority plans to start next month the auction process for the operation and maintenance of Clark International Airport in Pampanga province, an airport official said Wednesday.

Clark International Airport Corp. vice president for commercial and business development Darwin Cunanan said the auction for the Clark airport O&M would be launched by BCDA next month.

“They [BCDA] are writing the terms of reference,” Cunanan said.

The government is pursuing the development of Clark airport through a hybrid public-private partnership scheme. Under this policy, the government will shoulder the cost of construction of the new terminal in Clark, while the O&M component would be auctioned off to the private sector.

Megawide-GMR earlier won the bidding for the construction of the new passenger terminal, when it submitted the lowest financial proposal of P9.36 billion on Dec. 14, 2017.

Clark International Airport is the second main gateway into the country, and the new 100,000-square-meter terminal will double its capacity to eight million passengers a year, boosting air transport capacity for the Greater Manila Area.

The project is expected to ease the strain on the congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport and help create jobs and increase development in Central Luzon, a growing economic center.

Clark International Airport is envisioned to be Asia’s next premier gateway. It now has an annual capacity of four million passengers. Airlines operating in Clark include Qatar Airways, Cebu Pacific, Tigerair, Jin Air, Asiana Airlines, Dragon Air, AirAsia Berhad, Philippine Airlines and Emirates Airlines.

These airlines mount flights to Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, Macau, Pudong, Incheon, Doha, Dubai, Davao, Cebu and Kalibo.

Megawide-GMR won a 25-year concession agreement in December 2013 that involved the renovation of Terminal 1 of Mactan Cebu airport and the design, financing, construction and operation of a second terminal. It submitted the highest bid of P14.4 billion.

The P14.4-billion premium paid by GMR-Megawide was on top of the P17.5 billion that would be spent on a new passenger terminal.

By Darwin G. Amojelar
April 25, 2018