(Clark, December 14, 2021) The first departure trial flight was held successfully today at the new Clark International Airport terminal in Pampanga.
According to Ms. Bi Yong Chungungco, CEO of the Luzon International Premiere Airport Development Corp. (LIPAD), the trial domestic departure was by Cebu Pacific (5J 607) bound for Cebu.
Organizations in the LIPAD consortium are Changi Airports Philippines Ple Ltd., Filinvest Development Corp., JG Summit Holdings Inc., and the Philippine Airport Ground Solutions.
The departing passengers were sent off by LIPAD and government executives with Cebu Pacific representatives and invited media.
A day after its successful departure trial flight, the new terminal welcomed 63 passengers, three of whom are infants. They are the first arriving passengers aboard a Philippine Airlines flight from Cebu. They were welcomed with Noche Buena packages by officials of LIPAD headed by Chungungco.
“We are heartened by the cooperation as well as the enthusiasm of everyone to ensure that all systems checks and preparations are undertaken for the smooth flow of airport processes. These were under the system called Operational Readiness and Airport Transfer (ORAT),” said Miss Chungungco.
The trial flights are part of the airport’s ORAT which is a comprehensive and extensive set of measures to ensure that all processes run smoothly and all personnel are trained with the newest technologies in place.
The trials are conducted after several online workshops, and the on-ground exercise further aids stakeholders in addressing concerns and allows airlines and ground handlers to familiarise themselves with the new check-in facilities and processes. More trials will be organised in the coming months to achieve a seamless transition to the new terminal.
Andrew Tan, Director and Deputy Head of Airport Operations of Changi Airports International (CAI), cited the support of all stakeholders in this rehearsal to make sure everyone in the airport team know their functions.
“It is also heartening to hear the ‘wows’ from the passengers upon seeing the airport,” Tan said.
He added that the new terminal is “game-changer in the Philippines” with the new systems in place.
The departing passengers, among them BCDA Officer-in-Charge Office of the President and CEO Atty. Aristotle B. Batuhan, were the first to try the airport’s self-service check-in features, which include common-use self-service kiosks (CUSS) and automated bag drop.
Passengers simply scanned a QR code displayed on the screen and continue the check-in process using their smartphones. The process includes flight selection, baggage check-in, and printing of both boarding passes and luggage tags.
Another feature the passengers tried is the airport’s automatic tray retrieval system, which allows for faster security checks. The system automatically returns luggage trays to the starting point after passengers collect their belongings from it, minimizing the hassle of waiting for other passengers to finish using the trays.
Chungunco said “We invested in these equipment to further ensure both the safety of all our guests and smooth flow of the check-in process.”
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