The government has scrapped a plan to turn a former US airbase in northern Luzon into an airport-shopping mall complex patterned after Singapore’s Changi airport.
“The feasibility study requires a lot of government investment. It will require a lot of expropriation, about another P4 billion. For us, if we are going to invest P4 billion we want to do it first in Clark City,” Bases Conversion and Development Authority president Arnel Paciano Casanova.
BCDA earlier asked the Public Private Partnership Center’s Project Development and Monitoring Facility board to finance the feasibility study for the development of the Poro Point San Fernando Airport.
“We are now looking at alternative uses. We are looking at MRO [maintenance, repair and operations] facility and flying schools, but still we are looking at commercial airlines who are going to operate. Currently, Cebu Pacific and PAL are not interested,” Casanova said.
No commercial airline flies to Poro Point in the absence of passenger traffic. Zest Airways and Philippine Airlines used to fly to the San Fernando Airport.
Classified as a community airport, the San Fernando Airport is part of the Poro Point Freeport Zone in San Fernando, La Union.
Casanova has said the Poro Point San Fernando Airport was envisioned to become a regional airport that can also accommodate direct international flights, serving as gateway to La Union, Baguio and other tourist spots within the region.
The airport is also aimed at providing a link with and complementing the operations of the Clark International Airport.
He said a small airport terminal shopping mall would be constructed similar to the Changi airport of Singapore.
The Poro Point Freeport Zone in La Union is a prime location for investments and tourism in North Luzon with its airport, seaport and tourism facilities.
The free port is an hour and a half away from the country’s Southeast Asian neighbors such as Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam.
Source: Darwin G. Amojelar, http://thestandard.com.ph