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7 groups eye Sangley airport project

MVP, Lucio Tan, Villar among local investors keen to partner with Cavite gov’t
/ 04:25 AM November 18, 2019

Businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan said his group was taking a “serious look” at the Cavite government’s $10-billion plan to turn the Sangley airport into an international air hub, a show of support for the potential alternative to the congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) in Manila.

Pangilinan-led Metro Pacific Investments Corp. is among seven groups that bought documents signifying their intention to submit a proposal to partner with Cavite province for the Sangley Point International Airport project. The deadline for submission is on Nov. 25 this year.

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Pangilinan said the interest was there but he clarified there was no final decision on whether Metro Pacific, which was also part of a private sector consortium seeking to upgrade the nearby Naia, would submit an offer.

“We have to sort it out,” Pangilinan told reporters last week when asked about any potential conflict with Metro Pacific’s bid for Naia via the Naia Consortium, a collection of seven of the country’s biggest business groups.

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The group of taipan Lucio Tan, a Naia Consortium member, is also keen on the Sangley Point International Airport. Tan-led MacroAsia Corp. said it bought joint venture documents and was interested to participate in the project.

Five other firms bought joint venture documents.

These were state-run China Communications Construction Co. Ltd., billionaire Manuel Villar Jr.’s Prime Asset Ventures Inc., and Philippine Airport Ground Support Solutions Inc., the Jefferson Cheng-led ground-handling company that is also a partner of Gokongwei-led JG Summit Holdings and the Gotianun family’s Filinvest Development Corp. in the 25-year Clark international Airport concession.

The two other entities that bought joint-venture documents were Langham Properties Inc. and Mosveldtt Law Offices, a Cavite government representative said.

Sangley airport is being readied by the Department of Transportation to handle Naia’s general aviation flights. Formally known as the Danilo Atienza Air Base, Sangley airport has a 2,400-meter runway, a terminal for 160 passengers and an apron that can accommodate up to five turboprop planes.

The Cavite government has larger ambitions.

Its plan is to reclaim close to 1,400 hectares of land around the facility and build multiple runways and passenger terminals. Upon completion, the Sangley Point International Airport can accommodate 100 million passengers—three times Naia’s current design capacity.

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The first phase, which will give the airport a capacity of 25 million passengers a year, could be completed as early as 2022.

The show of support by some Naia Consortium members came as conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) was recently awarded the concession to build a $15-billion international airport in Bulakan, Bulacan, about 50 kilometers northwest of Manila.

SMC president Ramon Ang earlier said the project would break ground before the end of the year.

Naia Consortium, meanwhile, has yet to receive the go-ahead from the board of the National Economic and Development Authority to proceed with the expansion of Naia, the Philippines’ busiest gateway.

The 15-year project will increase capacity and runway utilization, helping alleviate delays and providing room for growth while long-term airport solutions are being built.

Apart from Metro Pacific, Naia Consortium’s members include Ayala Corp., Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc., Alliance Global Group Inc., Tan-led Asia Emerging Dragon Corp., Filinvest Development and JG Summit. Its technical partner is Singapore’s Changi Airports International.

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TAGS: Lucio Tan, Manuel V. Pangilinan, Sangley Point International Airport
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