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Transport chief wants Sangley airport issues resolved by year-end

/ 05:01 AM October 15, 2018

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) wants a year-end deadline to resolve issues over the Cavite provincial government’s proposal to build a new international airport on reclaimed land in Sangley Point.

To date, uncertainty still hangs over the proposal, which involves the construction of a new airport with multiple runways and a passenger capacity of more than 100 million passengers per year.

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On one hand, the DOTr insisted that the legal framework for the project needed to be first clarified even after it issued a “no objection” notice on July.
A representative from the Cavite government separately said it was still seeking the approval of relevant government agencies, including the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines and Philippine Reclamation Authority.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said in a recent interview that he was considering imposing a deadline, likely by the end of 2018, to resolve the various issues.

The Cavite government has a rival for the right to build an airport in Sangley. The Tieng family’s Solar Group has made a separate airport offer, which will likely come to the fore if the Cavite government’s proposal fails to progress.

The outcome of these developments will have a big impact on shaping the country’s aviation strategy in the years to come.

The provincial government’s proposed airport, formally known as the Sangley Point International Airport, is being positioned as a future alternative to the congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Manila’s main gateway. It comes as conglomerate San Miguel Corp. is seeking to build a 100-million passenger capacity airport in Bulacan, north of Manila, while the government is pursuing the expansion of Clark International Airport, located further north of Pampanga.

Under the provincial government’s proposal, the project will initially have two runways serving 75 million passengers yearly. Additional parallel runways could be built, which would increase capacity to 130 million passengers per year. The initial project cost is estimated at about $9.3 billion.

The push for new gateways comes amid worsening congestion in Naia, which serves more than 40 million passengers yearly. This is above Naia’s design capacity of 31 million passengers a year.

An offer from private sector-led Naia Consortium would help improve design capacity to 65 million passengers yearly within four years. Further expansion could prove difficult given land constraints around Naia.

Both offers from San Miguel and Naia Consortium have been awarded original proponent status by the DOTr.

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