PH needs more int’l airports


The Philippines would benefit immensely from having more than one airport to serve as the country’s international gateway, the same way large metropolitan areas overseas operate, according to the chief of San Miguel Corp.

In an e-mail to the Inquirer, SMC president Ramon Ang said that having more than one international airport would also treble the positive effects of the government’s infrastructure plan as well as its thrust to boost tourist arrivals in the country.

“Notwithstanding the existing plan to develop Clark as a major international airport, we believe that our proposal to build a world-class international airport closer to the National Capital Region complements the government’s infrastructure master plan,” Ang said, after the transportation department said it would be up to President Aquino to decide on the future plans for the country’s major airports.

San Miguel has proposed to build a privately funded four-runway international airport that would be located only “15 minutes” away from Makati City, although Ang has so far declined to disclose its exact location.

The project, he said, would bring in investments of as much as $10 billion and would require at least 2,000 hectares of land.

The San Miguel chief parried the criticism leveled by business groups at the government for its supposed lack of focus on developing the Clark International Airport as an alternative to the antiquated Ninoy Aquino International Airpot, citing the example of major cities overseas being served by multiple airports.

“Many cities are known to have more than one or several international airports,” he said. “Paris has five: Charles de Gaulle, Orly Airport, Beauvais-Tille, Paris Le-Bourget and Chalons Vatry; London also has five: London Heathrow, London Stansted, London Gatwick, London Luton and the London City airport.”

Ang added that San Francisco has three international gateways: San Francisco International, Oakland International and the San Jose International Airport, and Washington D.C. has two.

“Closer to the Philippines, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok have two international airports each,” he said. “Given the government’s thrust to push tourism and the record arrivals to the Philippines, we see the need for more than one major airport in the near term.”

The San Miguel chief earlier expressed skepticism that Clark could completely replace Naia—or another location on the periphery of Metro Manila—saying the former US air base in Angeles City, Pampanga, was too far from the metropolis.

For Clark to be a viable alternative international airport, Ang said that a high-speed rail line would have to be built between Angeles and Manila. He estimated that this rail network would cost as much as $10 billion—roughly the same amount needed to build a new international airport from the ground up.

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  • Demy Angeles

    Matagal nang binibida ni Mr. Ang yong airport na gagawin nila. Kaso di pa nauumpisahan.  Puro ngawa.  Walang gawa. Ok pag maraming airport.  Kaso puro PPP — Pnoy Power Point.  Plano  ng plano.  Puro Plano si Pnoy. Puro Publicity sa Press. Dagdagan nyo kung ano ang meaning ng PPP

  • CmdrAdobo

    should be baby step. Expand the current international airports and make it more beautiful and world class. Manila, Clark, Cebu (should expand), Davao, Aklan, Palawan, and Zamboanga are good numbers already.

  • pablosantino

    the article’s misleading..ang ibig sabihin dito ay yung “major international airports”.we have plenty internationla airports, clark,davao,cebu, iloilo..pero isa lang yung major international airport yung NAIA..ito ang ibig sabihin ni ramon ang na dapat higit sa isa..

  • magarito

    ok saken ang clark.  ang may problema lang naman kasi ay yung mga nasa south luzon. eg from batangas pupunta ka sa clark, sobrang layo. so instead of building a high speed train, why not build an airport sa south ng manila. maybe laguna or batangas. call it calabarzon international airport. magiging way rin ito para magexpand at para hindi siksikan sa maynila.

  • JOHNCeneza

    For Clark to be a viable alternative international airport, Ang said that a high-speed rail line would have to be built between Angeles and Manila. He estimated that this rail network would cost as much as $10 billion—roughly the same amount needed to build a new international airport from the ground up.

    I would still recommend the railway since placing the airport near the metropolis will have still retain the traffic/congestion problems we have. also, it would be easier to expand the airport in the future if its away from metro manila. 

  • sh1seadad

    They need to stop taxing everyone to death at the airports to.

    • CmdrAdobo

      Tax is needed. In fact, people who traveled using plane are doing good. So tax is essential to maintain it. Anywhere in the world aiport tax are necessary.

      My suggestion is make it more  convenient to pay tax. Like it should be included in the ticket fare.

    • Maykatmon

      tax is a burden we must bear. if we love our country let’s be dutiful tax payers, not paying the appropriate tax is a form of corruption. 

  • NoWorryBHappy

    I recommend expanding the following into international airports:
    Laoag, Baguio and Tuguegarao City. 

    • Joseph

      Laoag handles international flights.

      Baguio is too short (and lacks space) though.

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