PAF to move units, housing facilities in Clark
CLARK FREEPORT—The Philippine Air Force (PAF) units and their housing facilities based in this economic zone’s aviation complex will be moved out of the 300-hectare (ha) area that they are currently occupying, an official of the state-owned Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) said on Tuesday.
The offices and structures of the six PAF units will be relocated to a field being used by the Omni Flying School across the runway, according to Joshua Bingcang, CIAC president and chief executive officer.
“We want to separate the military and civil commercial sides,” Bingcang said at a press briefing. A third runway will be built for the PAF, he added.
While Clark and Subic were former military bases rented by the United States until 1991 and were converted into economic zones since then, these are not included in the nine camps for the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement with the Philippines, an announcement by the US Defense Department on April 3 showed.
Omni is about 4 kilometers east of the PAF area, which is part of the 1,600-ha Clark Civil Aviation Complex that CIAC administers.
Originally spanning 2,367 ha, or half of this freeport, the complex’s 759 ha have been leased out to the private consortium Lipad that has been managing the new terminal of the Clark International Airport (CRK) under a 25-year contract with the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA). CIAC oversees the safety and security of CRK for the Department of Transportation.
Bingcang said the PAF housing will be relocated to a 65-ha area inside the New Clark City in the hilly portions of Capas town in Tarlac province.
According to him, these relocation plans have been agreed upon by the BCDA, the Department of National Defense and the Armed Forces of the Philippines in 2019.
The detailed designs are being finalized, and national budgets will be requested, Bingcang said.
The CIAC board approved in April the complex’s master plan, which was designed by architect Felino Palafox Jr.
About 500 ha from the Clark North Interchange have been set aside for commercial development.
Bingcang said some areas have been declared permanent no-build zones for future runways.
The board has been requested to approve the commercial plan for the first 100 ha.CIAC has set aside 30 ha for the depot of the ongoing North-South Commuter Railway from Clark to Laguna province and 60 ha for the depot of the renegotiated Subic-Clark Cargo Railway.
The PAF’s Clark Air Base Command used to secure Clark Air Base until 1991, when the US Air Force pulled out weeks before Mt. Pinatubo’s June 15 eruption that year.
Since then, two-thirds of the PAF have been transferred to Clark from other major camps and Basa Air Base in Floridablanca, Pampanga, which is within the 20-km radius of Mt. Pinatubo.