CLARK, PAMPANGA — Luzon International Premier Airport Development (LIPAD) Corp., the company that manages the operations and maintenance of Clark International Airport, is set to open the airport’s new passenger terminal building to commercial domestic flights in July with “contactless passenger solutions,” its top official said.
“It will open by July for domestic operations,” LIPAD Chief Executive Officer Bi Yong S. Chungunco told reporters on Tuesday.
The construction of the building’s interiors is in full swing, she noted.
LIPAD plans to implement a “silent airport policy,” as it wants the airport to become the “quietest” in the Philippines.
This means that there will no longer be calls for boarding and departures, except in the event of an emergency.
“Travelers will rely on posted updates for quick reference,” the company said in a statement.
“Passengers will be more at ease with the options that have no face-to-face interaction. Among these are the common-use self-service kiosks (CUSS) and the self-service bag drops. Travelers can check in at these kiosks, shared by other airlines and that are without the need for ground staff,” it added.
As for the interiors of the new passenger terminal building, Ms. Chungunco said the design will be “deeply intuitive,” as the company aims to give passengers a sense of familiarity.
“For travelers to be fully relaxed and at ease, the processes must not be confusing. Travelers of all kinds have varying backgrounds and such a design allows for each traveler to have that feeling of being guided through the process through the interplay of finer details, even with the protocols for safe distancing and all necessary measures to ensure passenger safety in a pandemic,” LIPAD said.
The new terminal building — built by Megawide Construction Corp. and GMR Infrastructure Ltd. — can accommodate 8 million passengers annually. The Clark airport currently operates at an annual passenger capacity of 4.2 million.
Ms. Chungunco noted the old passenger terminal building might be converted into a vaccination hub.
Clark International Airport has long been singled out as an alternative gateway to decongest Ninoy Aquino International Airport, which accommodated more than 39.5 million passengers in 2016, way above its 30.5 million capacity.
LIPAD is composed of Filinvest Development Corp., JG Summit Holdings, Inc., Philippine Airport Ground Support Services, Inc., and Changi Airports Philippines (I) Pte. Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Changi Airports International. — Arjay L. Balinbin