PAL plans to build Philippines’ biggest airport

Exec says Clark too far as COUNTRY’s premier gateway


Jean-Francois Laval, center, senior vice president for sales Asia of Airbus; Lucio Tan, left, chairman and CEO of Philippine Airlines, and Ramon S. Ang, president and COO of Philippine Airlines hold an Airbus A321 model aircraft in a news conference Tuesday Aug. 28, 2012, in Manila, Philippine Airlines signed a $7 billion deal to buy 54 Airbus jets. PAL on Thursday disclosed plans to build what could be the largest airport in the Philippines. AP PHOTO/BULLIT MARQUEZ

Shortly after signing a multibillion-dollar deal to acquire 50 new planes—the biggest aircraft order in the country’s history—flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) on Thursday disclosed plans to build what could be the largest airport in the Philippines.

The planned airport would be able to handle four times as many flights per hour as the congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) in Pasay City. Naia, built in the 1950s, has been criticized as obsolete with decrepit facilities. It can handle 36 flights per hour.

PAL president Ramon S. Ang said investments in infrastructure was part of the company’s aggressive expansion program, which could include rehiring some of the 2,600 employees PAL retrenched in October of last year.

“We have a plan for our own terminal and runway. We still have to clear this with the government but we are hoping they will support us,” Ang told reporters at the sidelines of the firm’s annual shareholders’ meeting.

He said the new airport would be closer to Manila than the Clark International Airport in Pampanga, which the government is grooming to replace Naia.

Ang, who also serves as president of PAL’s controlling shareholder San Miguel Corp., declined to disclose the prospective location for the new facility, but said the company would need at least 2,000 hectares of land for the project.

The new airport, which will be exclusive to PAL and sister firm PAL Express (formerly Air Philippines), would have two parallel runways when it opens, with the option of having two more. Parallel runways mean two planes can take off and land at the same time—now impossible at Naia’s perpendicular runways.

Ang said the government’s plan to turn Clark into the country’s premier gateway might be ill-advised, given the facility’s distance from Manila. “If you want to fly [from] Clark, how long will it take you to get to the airport? Two hours if you are coming from Makati. Then you have to wait two more hours for your flight,” Ang said.

He said plans to build a new high-speed railway between Metro Manila and Clark—at an estimated cost of $10 billion—would be too heavy a burden for the government to carry.

Ang said the company would shell out about $500 million in equity for the airport project. The rest of the project cost would be financed using loans from foreign or local banks.

Once approved by the government, he said PAL could complete the project in three years. “We plan to pitch this to President Aquino in January or February. Hopefully, this is aligned with the government’s plans,” he said.

Ang said the new airport, together with other components of PAL’s expansion, could lead to a solution to the labor problems that have hounded the airline for more than a decade.—With AP

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Cadiz

    I agree with ‘hatecorrupt’ below. Building a big airport just for PAL really does not make good  business sense. I suspect PAL has other purposes in mind and plans to take advantage of such a project to obtain land under government Imminent Domain rules at a low price or take advantage of reclaimed land which they will use for various alternative business activities. I cannot help but be suspicious of such a deal.

    One thing that we can be certain of is this project will not hire many of the ‘retrenched’ employees. Notice they carefully used the word “could” instead of “would”. Most of the employees they laid off are not in the specialties they would require for such an airport.

  • Alvin

    sa caticlan yan…

  • Benaque

    Think big this time.

  • Ornbort Vortingeresdemesus

    i used to love driving on the NLEX and SLEX, but now with the speed limits, driving is less of a pleasure and what is the point of paying premium for road access if you can only drive up to 100 kmh? that’s VERY slow for a progressive country. they should restrict the speed limit to public transport or just get rid of the buses and build rails. that said, a new airport is a great idea. will they be serving SMB there :D

    • Pons Corpuz

      I think they are more concern on safety and not on pleasure.

      • Ornbort Vortingeresdemesus

        why? can’t you be safe at 80 miles per hour? you probably don’t know how to drive properly. 

      • Pons Corpuz

         I know better than you can. You’re showboating in your first comment only proves what kind of driver your are. Hindi lahat nakukuha sa yabang pre.

    • Isa_Ka_Pa

      hoy hambog !
      100 kph is equal to 65mph which is the usual speed limit in the U.S.
      dont drive on the NLEX or SLEX we don’t need beer drinker/speed maniac like you on our expressway….tsuuuupi !

  • Sadyangnim

    Laguna bay ilalagay yan…tataas na uli presyo ng isda dahil mawawala ang mga fish pens…..nakita ko na ang plano nyan two years ago….tatambakan ang laguna bay….sa c6 and daan……swerte mga taga isla titira na sila sa high rise later at maging progresive and dating fishing community……good for rizal and laguna provinces..also quezon

  • Sadyangnim

    sa laguna bay yan ilalagay connecting talim island…wanna bet???/…mula paranaquie up  to pillila rizal..dadaan yan sa lawa ng laguna sa tapat ng taguig ,taytay,angono,binangonan,morong,baras,tanay to pillila..kaya lahat ng isa sa lawa ng laguno binibili na….

  • No Bull, Just Facts

    New pal airport will be in cavite. Yes folks, it’s going to be in cavite. Am the first one to tell you, don’t ever forget it.

    • Ornbort Vortingeresdemesus

      hope they build an easy access road to it. 

  • Teddy Manalang

    If they want to remove traffic congestion in Metro manila tuloy sa Clark and project high speed rail road. anong masama sa 45mins from makati to Clark, e Balintawak to NAIA it tooks 3 hours to reach. kung pababayaan ng government na diktahan nanaman sila ng TAN/ANG nayan e dadadagan lang ang traffic sa maynila. mag isip isip po kayo.. masyado nang maraming polution sa maynila you need fresh air..

    • grapesofwrath

      Anong masama? Yung “it tooks”!!! Ang sama!

    • Ornbort Vortingeresdemesus

      trains are really the answer. i don’t understand why we support buses and jeepneys and not trains that will reduce emissions, get people anywhere faster. i once rode the PNR to divisoria. a few minutes of discomfort vs. hours of torture in a bus? no contest. Yes to trains!

      • Ornbort Vortingeresdemesus

        also why does NAIA 3 have this stupid taxi mafia running the show? why isn’t there a rail or an easy way to cross the street to Resort World where there are a lot of metered taxis? one simple walkway would break the monopoly. 

  • aSwedishguy

    Why not invest in  New  international airports in The provinces instead ? Example: Palawan

    I would believe many tourists would love to “bypass” Manila all together

    • Ornbort Vortingeresdemesus

      you should. the rest of the Philippines is worth seeing. This is a business center. Besides, once they see that the tourists flock to better managed areas, they will clean up their act. Go to Cebu or Davao. 

      • Ragdeleafar Atenall

        Tama sa Mindanao sa Davao  ….malawak pa ang lugar. Pag progressive na ang Mindanao maging peaceful na yan. Hopefully tigil putukan na dyan. Buenas ‘DIAs’..Davao International Airport(s)…pwede!

  • Tammy Aguila

    Many years ago…. a news that San Fernando Air Base in Lipa, Batangas will be converted to International Airport….and this is it………….

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos