Sangley airport sees delay as virus hinders firm’s plans
A Chinese-Filipino venture seeking to build a new international airport in the Manila Bay area has requested a fresh extension to finalize its bid due to the new coronavirus pandemic.
The consortium of Taipan Lucio Tan’s MacroAsia Corp. and state-run China Communications Construction Company Ltd. (CCCC) asked the Cavite government for another 90 days to submit its postqualification documents for the planned Sangley Point International Airport project.
Jesse Grepo, secretary of the local government’s public-private partnership selection committee, said they received the request on Wednesday.
He said the letter was referred to the concerned offices “for proper action on their request, considering, among other things, the current COVID-19 crisis.”
Through its own initiative, the local government unit awarded in February the first phase of the $10-billion Sangley Point airport deal to the MacroAsia-CCCC consortium, which was the only group to bid for the project.
The submission of postqualification documents was initially due in March but this was pushed back as strict lockdown rules were imposed. An extension was given until June 11 this year, however, the consortium is again seeking more time.
An extension will delay the construction of a new air gateway in Sangley Point, which was meant to ease congestion in Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport before the pandemic devastated demand for air travel.
This will also allow MacroAsa-CCCC time to adjust to the new business environment as the International Air Transport Association expects the industry to recover in the next two to three years.
The project is expected to rise on a reclaimed land on Manila Bay. The first phase involves the construction of one runway and a terminal with a capacity of 25 million passengers per year by 2023, based on the original schedule.
It will eventually expand into a four-runway airport with an annual capacity of 130 million passengers.
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