Clark International Airport – All You Need to Know in 2023
Clark International Airport, located in the heart of Central Luzon in the Philippines, has been experiencing steady growth in recent years. The newly updated airport is outpacing other airports in the region, giving locals and international tourists a more laid-back alternative to traveling through the capitol city of Manila.
The airport is increasingly becoming a popular alternative gateway for Central Luzon tourists and business travelers alike. It’s an attractive alternative for those looking to avoid the traffic and congestion of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila. International tourists will enjoy the ease of navigating, entering, and exiting Clark International Airport.
A bonus to landing or departing from Clark is the availability of fabulous resorts, hotels, theme parks, casinos, golf courses and restaurants travelers can enjoy on arrival or prior to departure. This makes it a highly viable alternative to travelers and an incredible opportunity to use Clark as a base to their sightseeing, eco-tourism, family adventure or business operations. Who wouldn’t rather enjoy a theme park, play a round of golf, try your luck or dine at 5-start restaurants and buffets in a relaxed, green environment rather than struggling with the hectic big city experiences of Manila.
History of Clark International Airport in Pampanga Philippines
The airport was originally built by the U.S. military in 1902 for the United States Cavalry as Fort Stotsenberg and then as aircraft took to the skis and became a part of military operations, it was renamed Clark Airfield in 1919. Through the decades Clark became an important overseas asset for U.S. flight operations in southeast Asia.
Clark was later taken over and expanded by the Philippine government in the 1990s and into the 21st century for civilian use. The Clark International Airport first began doing commercial business on June 16, 1996, after the U.S. Military abandoned the facility in November 1991, only 5 months after the Mt Pinatubo eruption in June 1991 that devasted the base’s infrastructure, leaving it substantially unusable and in need of massive repairs.
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in 2003, renamed the Clark Airport to Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA). This was done in honor of her father and the ninth President of the Philippines, Diosdado Macapagal.
She then ordered the Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) in February 2007 to fund a $1.7 billion expansion of DMIA and its runways. To accommodate more than 2 million passengers yearly, the first stage of Clark Airport’s expansion program, a $130 million terminal extension, was finished in January 2008.
In 2011, CIAC was transferred from the Bases Conversion and Development Authority and became an affiliated agency of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC).
In February 2012, the airport’s name was changed back to Clark International Airport, but the original passenger terminal was preserved with Macapagal’s name.
On February 28, 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte reinstated CIAC as a Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) subsidiary while keeping the Department of Transportation in charge of oversight and operations.
Today, the airport’s new four-level artistically designed passenger terminal building replaces the original old terminal which was decommissioned. The unique design of the new terminal follows the mountainous contours of Pampanga Provinces Mount Arayat. The new terminal has a capacity of twelve million passengers annually and a total floor area of 110,000-square-meters or 1,200,000 square feet.
Future Growth of Clark International Airport in Pampanga Philippines
Clark International Airport is expected to continue growing in the coming years, with plans to expand Terminal 2 and build a third terminal. In addition, the airport is set to become a major hub for international flights, with plans to increase its capacity to 80 million passengers per year by 2032. Even bigger plans are on the drawing board for eventual expansion of an 800-hectare master planned project collectively referred to as the Clark Aerotropolis. This relatively new term signifies business and growth centered around a major airport project as the hub of the economy. This ambitious project is in joint development under the LIPAD corporation which includes Filinvest Development Corporation, JG Summit Holdings Inc., Philippine Airport Ground Support Solutions Inc. and Changi Airports Philippines, a wholly owned subsidiary of Changi Airports international. Changi has many decades of worldwide airport development experience starting in Singapore, developing international airports in China, India, Asia, the Pacific, Europe, CIS, Middle East, Africa, South America, and North America.
Getting to and from Clark International Airport in Pampanga Philippines
Clark International Airport is conveniently located near major highways and is accessible by taxi, car, or bus. The airport also offers shuttle services to and from select hotels in the area. Car rental companies Grab, Avis and Blue Taxi have facilities at Clark Airport for an easy transportation solution. Genesis Transport Service Inc. provides hourly point-to-point bus service from Clark Airport to Manila NAIA Airport and Trinoma/North EDSA areas at reasonable rates. Check Genesis’s website for updated schedules and prices. The Clarkton Hotel offers shuttle service to and from its facility and Clark Airport. Taxis are readily available most hours for ground transportation services.
Directions by car from Manila, Clark International Airport is approximately one and a half hours in good traffic conditions and depending on what part of Manila you are traveling from. Use the toll roads, generally, head north NLEX-E1/R-8 to Prince Balagtas Ave in Clark Freeport, Mabalacat. Take exit 91-Clark from N Luzon W Expy/SCTEx/Subic – Clark – Tarlac Expy/R-8. Use Google Maps on your phone/device for detailed instructions to navigate properly.
Directions by car from Northern Luzon Baguio area, Clark International Airport is approximately two and a half hours in good traffic conditions and depending on what part of Baguio you are traveling from. Use the toll roads, generally, head south on NLEX-R-8 to Prince Balagtas Ave in Clark Freeport, Mabalacat. Take exit 92 from N Luzon W Expy/R-8. Use Google Maps on your phone/device for detailed instructions to navigate properly.
Airlines Serving Clark International Airport in Pampanga Philippines
As of this writing, Clark International Airport is currently served by several major airlines, including Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Asiana Airlines, AirAsia, Korean Air, Qatar Airways, Emirates, Cathay Dragon, Eva Air, AirSWIFT, JEJUAIR, JINAIR, Jetstar, Royalair, Philippines, Scoot, T’way Air, China Eastern, and Xiamenair. These airlines offer both domestic and international flights to destinations across Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and beyond.
Services at Clark International Airport in Pampanga Philippines
In addition to the new, artistically styled modern terminal, Clark International Airport offers a wide range of facilities and services to passengers. These include duty-free shops, restaurants and cafes, lounges, ATMs, currency exchange, and car rental services (see above). Whether you’re in need of a quick snack or drink, or a more substantial meal, duty-free shopping, or a comfortable place to relax before your flight, Clark International Airport has you covered. The airport also offers several services and facilities to ensure that passengers have a comfortable and hassle-free travel experience. These include currency exchange, ATM machines, mobile charging and information desks staffed by knowledgeable airport personnel. Globe and Smart kiosks sell Philippine SIM cards. There are also facilities for passengers with special needs, including wheelchair assistance and accessible restrooms.s
Lounges at Clark International Airport in Pampanga Philippines
The lounges at Clark are both free and paid depending on your situation. Check the specific lounge website for additional information on the lounge and to learn how to enter the lounge using only an economy class ticket.
OFW Lounge (Free) – Exclusively for Overseas Filipino Workers. The access to this lounge is free.
Plaza Premium Lounge (Paid) – Airside, 3rd Floor. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Lounge membership programs. You will even find showers at Plaza Premium Lounge.
Technology at Clark International Airport in Pampanga Philippines
Clark International Airport is a modern and convenient gateway to the Philippines, with state-of-the-art facilities, touchless, automated check-in, boarding pass acquisition and baggage drop-off technology.
Duty Free at Clark International Airport in Pampanga Philippines
Duty-free shopping is available at the airport, offering a range of products including electronics, perfumes, cosmetics, alcohol, and tobacco products. Passengers can take advantage of the tax-free prices on offer and stock up on gifts and souvenirs for their loved ones or themselves.
Arriving passengers may take advantage of duty-free shopping privileges at Duty Free Philippines 46 sq m store. Also known as DTP, the shop offers a considerable mix of confectionery, liquors/wines & spirits, cigarettes and fragrances from familiar brand names.
Duty Free Philippines also has a 30 sq m outlet at the Pre-Departure area of the airport. Passengers can make purchases prior to their departure from a selection of confectionery, liquors, cigarettes, fashion, fragrances, and beauty products such as hair dryers, curling irons, clippers, and electric shavers from world renowned brands. Customs regulations apply.
Restaurants at Clark International Airport in Pampanga Philippines
For those in need of a bite to eat, the airport has a variety of dining options available. Coffee shops sand restaurant facilities offer a range of light snacks, pastries, and coffee along with full-featured restaurants. In the Clark Air Mall area of the old terminal area, you’ll find Mister Donut, Flying Bowl Pizza & Burger, Wendy’s, Kenny Rogers Roasters, and Gerry’s Grill. In the new main terminal 2 area you’ll find Tom N Tom’s Coffee with some great espressos, lates, salads, sandwiches, desserts and other delights. Also in the new terminal is the TGM Root98 full-menu restaurant featuring soups, sandwiches, garden salads, Greek salads, Caesar salads, Japanese, Korean and other Asian food, There are also bars and lounges available for those looking to relax with a drink before their flight in the new terminal including Plaza Premium Lounge and Barcino Wine and Resto Bar.
This manual is provided solely for informational purposes to help you plan. Rates and hours, as well as any other information, are subject to change at any time without prior notice. Based on data gathered and/or acquired from airports, lounges, hotels, transit companies, and their websites, the information in this airport guide. We are not authorized to speak on behalf of any of the service providers listed above. To report any mistakes or to add or amend any of the information in the guide send us a message at this link.