Clark airport girds for record 1.4 million passengers this Christmas

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Clark, Pampanga (CNN Philippines, December 7) — The Clark International Airport prepares to accept around 1.4 million passengers this coming holiday season, an all-time high for the year.

The airport will apply the same high security measures implemented during the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in November, said the airport's corporation President and Chief Executive Officer Alexander Caugiran.

Clark International Airport is touted as the country's best alternative to the congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila.

Additional Philippine National Police personnel, K-9 bomb-detecting units have been deployed in different parts of Clark airport, and closed-circuit television cameras were installed to monitor passenger movement, Caugiran said.

The preparations are part of the Balik-Pasko 2017 program of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines in the country's 35 airports, which are expecting a total of 20 million passengers this month.

READ: Aviation authorities: Up to 20 million passengers expected over Christmas season

Clark airport authorities anticipate the increase in passengers here as two airlines are set to launch additional flights here on December 15. Philippine Airlines will open its Clark-Bacolod, Clark-Tagbiliran, and Clark-Virac routes and AirAsia Philippines will begin plying the Clark-Caticlan route.

On December 15, the Bases Conversion and Development Authority which oversees the Clark International Airport is also set to name the winning consortium of the bid to construct the ₱12.55-billion new Clark terminal building.

The passenger terminal building covers 82,600 square meters, and is expected to increase Clark's capacity to handle up to eight million passengers each year, the government said. Groundbreaking on the project is scheduled for December 20, said the BCDA, adding it expects the terminal to be completed by 2020.

Clark now serves airlines flying to 14 domestic and eight international destinations. Caugiran said airport management is in negotiations for direct flights from Clark to the United States, Japan, and China.