DOTC Wants NAIA Replacement Near Metro Manila


Cathy Rose A. Garcia, ABS-CBNnews.com

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MANILA, Philippines – The government is looking for a property near Metro Manila to house a new airport to replace the aging Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 (NAIA 1) in Paranaque, Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said.

In an interview on ANC’s “Inside Business with Coco Alcuaz”, Abaya said the government is set to conduct a study, with the help of some funding agencies, on the possible locations for a new airport, preferably 20 minutes away from Metro Manila.

“No decisions yet… There are various locations they’re looking at,” he said.

Asked how big a property would be needed for the replacement airport, Abaya said it would have to be between 1,000 to 2,000 hectares.

The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) appears to be favoring a “twin airport” system, which would involve the development of both the heavily congested NAIA 1 and Clark International Airport in Pampanga.

Abaya said he has gotten clearance from the economic development cluster to present two options to President Benigno Aquino.

“Basically option 1 is to masterplan Clark. Invest in Clark, just don’t put all your eggs in Clark. Make sure you don’t stunt its growth. Support the growth of Clark. For NAIA, we maximize NAIA, maximize runway efficiency and terminal capacity. Chances are we’ll max out NAIA in 2018 or 2020,” he said.

“At the same time, conduct a study to determine a NAIA replacement airport, essentially a 20-minute drive from the metropolis. This should be developed, chances are, this would be a 10-year period. Ideally, when this NAIA replacement airport is operationalized, we close down NAIA and sell NAIA,” he added.

As for the second option, Abaya said the only difference is the government will not sell NAIA but instead continue its operations.

“So you have a Clark-NAIA and a NAIA supplement also 20 minutes away from Metro Manila,” he said.

NAIA rehab

The rehabilitation of the NAIA 1 is expected to be completed by November 2014, Abaya said.

“This (rehab) should be done by November 2014, before the ministerial meetings of APEC. It’s quite a tight schedule,” he said.

The DOTC chief said there are also plans to build a new arrival area on top of the current parking lot at the NAIA, but this is expected to be completed by 2015.

As for the NAIA Terminal 3, Abaya said once the government makes its 15% advance payment to Japanese contractor Takenaka, construction will be underway for its completion. “So we’re looking at May or June next year, we’ll have the full NAIA 3 at 100% function,” he said.

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