3rd Naia runway costly; best option is Sangley, says MVP
Businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan appears to back the construction of a new international airport near Sangley Point, Cavite, as a future replacement for Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia).
Pangilinan is chair of Metro Pacific Investments Corp., one of seven members of a consortium that partnered with Singapore’s Changi Airport Group to submit an unsolicited proposal to upgrade and expand Naia, the Philippines’ busiest air gateway.
The consortium, which asked for a 35-year concession, wants to initially double its design capacity to 65 million passengers in two years to meet medium-term demand.
It also wants to build new passenger terminals and a third runway as part of its longer term goal. That would fall under the so-called second phase of the plan that is estimated to cost around P250 billion, or 70 percent of the total Naia proposal, which was submitted to the Department of Transportation this month.
Pangilinan explained during a recent business forum that Naia, which served more than 42 million passengers last year, needed a third runway to serve demand once capacity hit the 65-million-passenger mark.
“The consortium believes we do have to build a third runway. The only viable option is to build a third runway, effectively a new airport,” Pangilinan said.
He said the eventual construction of a new airport would free up Naia itself for redevelopment.
“That puts the onus on the consortium to really build a new airport, and I suspect that is likely to be Sangley,” Pangilinan added.
A source with knowledge of the matter said Pangilinan was expressing his personal view. According to another source, talks were still ongoing with the DOTr on the possible location of a third runway for Naia.
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