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Awarding of the expansion project at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) Terminal Expansion Project Phase 2 could take place April 2012.

Clark International Corporation (CIAC) source said that five of the 10 firms that purchased bid documents submitted bids last month for the P357- million (RM 25,592,159.37) project in Pampanga province, north of Metro Manila Airport.

The project will entail doubling the check-in counters, expanding the pre-departure and arrival areas, including the installation of the baggage conveyor for the arrival area.

It will expand the capacity of the airport from 2.5 million to 4 million passengers.

Meanwhile, the Terminal Expansion Project Phase I, completed in 2010, involved the construction of passenger-loading bridges.

A pre-bid conference was held on Jan. 4, while the submission of and opening of bids were held on Feb. 17.

The expansion comes as CIAC is expecting to double its traffic this year to 1.2 million.

Last year, DMIA experienced an 18% increase in passengers.

Also, just this January, DMIA already saw a 37% increase from the same period last year.

DMIA has been eyed as the alternative gateway to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

In 1902, Clark was established by the Americans and was formerly known as Fort Stotsenburg.

In 1917, the eastern portion of Fort Stotsenburg was converted into an airfield and was renamed Clark Air Field in 1919.

In 1947, the first RP-US Military Bases Agreement was signed. This integrated Clark Field and Fort Stotsenburg into the Clark Air Base.

In November 1991, the Clark Air Base was reverted back to the Philippine government.

RA 7227, also known as the Bases Conversion Act of 1992, created the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) as the implementing arm of the government to accelerate the conversion of the former Clark Military Reservation into the Clark Special Economic Zone, where Clark Development Corporation  (CDC) became a subsidiary corporation of BCDA, and in turn, the Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) as a subsidiary of the CDC.

In April 2008, Executive Order 716 was issued, transforming the CIAC as a subsidiary of the BCDA.

Pursuant to EO 716, series of 2008, the Clark International Airport Corporation is tasked and mandated to develop, operate, manage and maintain the Clark Civil Aviation Complex.

The Clark Civil Aviation Complex, located within the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga, the biggest American military base outside the United States, covers an area of approximately 2,367 hectares with a 3,200-meter long runway and associated taxiways, aircraft parking apron, a passenger terminal building and related facilities.

Within its immediate environs, Clark has a local catchment area with an estimated population of 23 million.

The 2025 master plan puts forward far-reaching plans for the construction of a Y-shaped passenger terminal with 126 air bridges (19 for the A380).

In addition there will be an X-shaped satellite concourse with 79 air bridges (12 for the A380) and also a midfield air traffic control tower.

A third parallel runway is planned along with new taxiways and aprons and a new cargo terminal complex.

The airport infrastructure being increased to this level will allow an estimated 40 million passengers a year to use the airport.

The master plan also puts forward plans for an automatic people mover, a ground transportation centre, a new two-line rail system for the airport and commuters to Manila and additional road infrastructure leading to the Subic-Clark Tarlac Expressway.

In the final phases of the airport development in 2025, there could be a total of 145 frontal gates, 134 remote gates and four runways.

The facility will then be able to handle an annual total of 110 million passengers.

These impressive plans will potentially lead to the airport becoming a major hub in Asia.

Source: dmia.ph, clarkedi.com and Business World Online

(this article written for 1BINA.my)