DOTC Open to JICA Plan to Build Airport in Sangley

The Department of Transportation and Communications will consider a proposal to build a $10-billion international airport in a former US naval base in Sangley Point, Cavite as part of a “dream” infrastructure plan, Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya said.

Abaya said in a recent interview that the Sangley airport project, which would require about 2,000 hectares of reclaimed land and support four runways, was ready to be presented to the board of the National Economic Development Authority, chaired by President Aquino.

The Sangley airport proposal was prepared by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, which included the massive alternative air gateway as part of a Metro Manila transportation “dream plan” aimed at easing congestion in the capital district through various mass transportation solutions.

“The dream plan is about to go to the Neda board,” Abaya said. “Jica needs Neda approval on their dream plan before they conduct the FS [feasibility studies].”

The Sangley airport proposal and that of San Miguel Corp. are aimed at providing alternative sites to Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport, which has been suffering from congestion issues partly due to limitations from its single primary runway.

Abaya said the proposed airport in Sangley was similar in size to the 1,600 hectares San Miguel would need to reclaim for its airport project near the CyberBay Corp. reclamation project in Manila Bay.

Abaya said JICA’s airport project was estimated to cost “in the same ballpark” as the $10-billion airport proposal of San Miguel, which partly owns flag carrier Philippine Airlines.

While acknowledging that a new airport serving Metro Manila would not be completed by the time Mr. Aquino steps down in mid-2016, Abaya said the government was keen on laying the groundwork like starting land acquisition and reclamation activities within the next two years.

“We are hoping to start that and show we are committed to the project,” Abaya said. He said the government would likely enlist the private sector’s support for an airport project of this scale via an open bidding process.

San Miguel president Ramon S. Ang earlier said that an open bidding was acceptable should the government choose San Miguel’s proposal.

Ang also said he was keen on partnering with other local conglomerates like Ayala Corp., Henry Sy’s SM Investments and the Gokongwei Group’s JG Summit Holdings.

Source: Miguel R. Camus, Philippine Daily Inquirer




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