Economy

Megawide, GMR turn over Clark airport’s new terminal building to gov’t

The consortium of listed builder Megawide Construction Corp. and Bangalore- based airport operator GMR Infrastructure Ltd. officially handed over to the government on Friday the new passenger terminal building of the Clark International Airport.

“This handover comes at exactly the right time when our country needs infrastructure projects to help restart our economy in light of the pandemic,” said Megawide Assistant Vice President Robert Jason Torres in a message on behalf of the company’s chairman and chief executive officer, Edgar B. Saavedra, during the ceremony.

“In Cebu, we saw firsthand the inclusive economic benefits brought by the development of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport; now, with the opening of the new Clark International Airport terminal at hand, Pampanga and Central Luzon can look forward to unlocking new opportunities in tourism, business, and more,” he added.

The Luzon International Premier Airport Development (LIPAD) Corp. will operate and maintain the new passenger terminal building, the Department of Transportation (DoTr) and the Bases Conversion and the Development Authority (BCDA) said in a statement.

LIPAD is the operator of the Clark International Airport.

The Megawide-GMR tandem won the contract to build the new terminal building in 2017, after it submitted the lowest financial proposal of P9.36 billion, or about 25% lower than the P12.55-billion auction ceiling. The consortium beat four other contenders, namely: Sinohydro Corp. Ltd. (P10.68 billion), China Harbour Engineering Co. Ltd. (P11.73 billion), China State Construction Engineering Corp. Ltd. (P12.3 billion) as well as the consortium of Tokwing Construction Corp. and China Machinery Engineering Corp. (P12.45 billion).

“The new passenger terminal building can accommodate 8 million passengers on its opening year, almost tripling the airport’s passenger capacity from the current 4.2 million to 12.2 million annually,” the Transportation department said.

The expansion project was completed in September last year.

LIPAD Chief Executive Officer Bi Yong Chungunco said 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 designed capacity. — Arjay L. Balinbin

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