CLARKFIELD, Pampanga – Top Philippine diplomats abroad visited the Clark International Airport (CRK) in Pampanga on Friday in a tour to further promote the now emerging airport of choice north of Manila.
“Clark in the heart of Central Luzon will connect the whole country,” Philippine ambassador to Geneva Evan Garcia said, during the walkthrough of the CRK’s major facilities as part of the group’s economic and cultural diplomacy tour which comes on the heels of the Economic Diplomacy Familiarization Tour of Cebu and the Global Conference of Heads of Posts in Manila.
Accompanying Garcia were fellow ambassadors Jose Jimeno (Berne, Switzerland), Rowena Sanchez (Ankara, Turkey), Celia Feria (Lisbon, Portugal), Junever West (Amman, Jordan), Maria Thomeczek (Berlin, Germany), Consuls General Teresa Dizon de Vega (New York, USA), Oscar Orcine (Manado, Indonesia), and Charge d’Affaires Elmer Cato (Baghdad, Iraq).
“We hope this diplomatic tour will help in promoting Clark airport in the ambassadors’ host countries where thousands of Filipinos are residing,” Alexander Cauguiran, acting President and CEO of the state-run Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC), said.
Cauguiran was on hand during the tour to give an update on additional flights that are seen to bolster CRK’s connectivity with major destinations in the country.
CRK hosts the daily flights of Philippine Airlines (PAL) to Caticlan, Cebu, and Davao, and daily international flights to Incheon in South Korea, and AirAsia’s thrice weekly Clark-Kalibo flight set to begin late next month.
PAL is also set to launch its Palawan route via Puerto Princesa and Busuanga domestic flights by March 26.
Also presented was an update of CIAC’s Master Development Plan which includes the building of a new passenger terminal with an eight million-passenger capacity being implemented by the Department of Transportation headed by Secretary Arthur Tugade.
The CIAC chief added that the airport management seeks to maximize in the next two to three years the existing terminal with a capacity of 4.2 million passengers annually.
The huge market potential of CRK are travelers coming from Regions 1 to 3 and the Camanava area (Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Malabon) with a combined population of around 24.2 million.
“Under Secretary Tugade’s direction, CRK will definitely help ease the congestion of Metro Manila especially if passengers from these areas will consider Clark as their airport of choice,” Cauguiran said.