New Puerto Princesa Airport Terminal

  • Runway length: 2,600 meters
  • Floor Area: 13,000 square meters
  • Seat capacity: 1,500
Photo from Department of Transportation
Image Source: Dept. of Transportation
NOW OPERATIONAL. The new terminal of the Puerto Princesa International Airport has a floor area of 13,000 square meters. Photo from Cebu Pacific
Image Source: Cebu Pacific
Photo from Cebu Pacific
Image Source: Cebu Pacific
Photo from Palawan Provincial Information Office
Image Source: Palawan Provincial Information Office
Photo from Cebu Pacific
Image Source: Cebu Pacific
Photo from Palawan Provincial Information Office
Image Source: Palawan Provincial Information Office
Photo from Palawan Provincial Information Office
Image Source: Palawan Provincial Information Office
Photo from Palawan Provincial Information Office
Image Source: Palawan Provincial Information Office
Photo from Palawan Provincial Information Office
Image Source: Palawan Provincial Information Office
Photo from Palawan Provincial Information Office
Image Source: Palawan Provincial Information Office 

AirSWIFT Connects Boracay & El Nido via direct flights

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AirSWIFT ( connects two of the Philippines’ best islands, Boracay and El Nido, via direct flights.

The four times weekly flights (Mon-Wed-Fri-Sun) uses the brand new ATR 42-600. It leaves El Nido at 1325H and arrives in Caticlan (Boracay) at 1430H. Return flight departs Caticlan at 1500H and arrives in El Nido at 1605H.

2016 World’s Busiest Airports

Image Source: Airports Council International. Ninoy Aquino International Airport is ranked 47th.

Xiamen Airlines Flies to Cebu

Xiamen Airlines started its fourth non-stop route between China and the Philippines. On 10 April it introduced twice-weekly (Mon and Fri) flights between Jinjiang – Cebu. Xiamen Airlines flies to Cebu from both Xiamen and Jinjiang.

NAIA PPP Project

After the successful awarding of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport PPP, it is now the turn of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

So far, three local companies have expressed interest in bidding for the Php. 74.6 billion contract to modernize and operate Manila’s NAIA. Metro Pacific Investments Corporation, San Miguel Corporation and Ayala Corporation are eyeing the country’s most coveted airport PPP project.

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Ramon Ang, president and chief operating officer of SMC, said Wednesday that they planned to join the bid. “We will join all the bidding [of PPPs] to support the government,” Ang said.

Rene Almendras, Ayala managing director and CEO of AC Infrastructure Holdings, said the group was studying the project.

“We are definitely looking at it,” Almendras said. “I met a few foreign partners abroad. So there are many people who will be looking. We want to make sure we put a good team. It’s a complex project, an international gateway.”

The NAIA development project was initially planned under the Aquino administration. The National Economic and Development Authority board approved the project only last week.

In its initial version under the Aquino administration, the NAIA development project was aimed at transforming the Philippines’ main gateway “into a world-class modern airport facility.” The private partner was also expected to upgrade existing terminals to increase capacity and handle operations and maintenance activities.

Apart from the NAIA PPP, the government also plans to pursue a PPP to develop and modernize the Bacolod-Silay, Iloilo, Davao, Laguindingan and New Bohol airports in a deal that has lured San Miguel Corp., Metro Pacific, Aboitiz, JG Summit and Megawide Construction Corporation apart from international players.

In 2013, most of the country’s largest conglomerates participated in a bidding for the contract to expand and operate the Mactan Cebu International Airport, which was bagged by a consortium between Megawide and India’s GMR Infrastructure.

Source: Miguel R. Camus, PDI.


More International Airlines Seen To Serve Cebu in 2016

Image Source: Cebu Daily News

First concrete pouring for new passenger terminal set for early December

Foot traffic at the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) is expected to increase by five to seven percent over the long term, with the additional flights and increased flight frequencies starting next year, an official said.

Two new routes will start in March next year, said MCIA general manager Nigel Paul Villarete.

“There’s one direct flight from Cebu to LA (Los Angeles) that will start in March. There are also two airlines that will start operations for direct flights from Cebu to Taipei, also in March,” Villarete said.

Talks are ongoing with several other airlines for two other possible routes next year.

So far, Villarete said one direct flight to mainland United States and another for Middle East are in the works.

“These (talks) are things that will happen in the next months and years to come but we are very hopeful. We are almost certain that we will have a direct flight to the Middle East some time next year,” Villarete said.

Discussions with the Middle East carriers began in early 2013, while discussions with the US airlines began in 2014. Since then, Villarete said they have been threshing out all issues and constraints the carriers may have in coming to Cebu.

Villarete also said that the management is hopeful that the talks will begin bearing fruit as early as next year and more carriers will start flying directly to Cebu.

The Mactan Airport currently serves more than seven million passengers a year, nearly double the 4.5 million capacity of its existing passenger terminal.

The airport is undergoing a P17.5-billion upgrading project which will increase its capacity to 12.5 million passengers a year. The project is being undertaken through public-private partnership by concessionaire GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp.

Villarete said land development has started for the new passenger terminal, which is targeted for completion in 2018.

Slated at the end November or at latest, by early December, is the first concrete pouring for the terminal.

“I don’t think that there will be any delays to the development. We will have a new terminal by 2018,” Villarete said.

Source: Vanessa Claire Lucero,

Govt Rejects Plan To Develop Poro Point Airport

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,

Local Airlines Get New Slots Despite Congestion

Despite the congestion at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the government has allocated new slots to all domestic airlines that would enable them to add more flights.

However, the  flights would have to be mounted at night as slots during peak hours in the morning and in the afternoon are all used up.

In industry parlance, a slot is  defined as the allowable movement of a plane,  either a takeoff or a landing.

Airline executives said they can only use so much of these additional slots for domestic destinations since not all airports in the country have night landing operations. If at all, most of these slots would have to be used for international flights.

Jose Angel A. Honrado, Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA)
general manager, in a phone interview said the agency has allocated more than 1,000 new slots per week to  Philippine Airlines,  Cebu Pacific and its unit CEB Go, PAL Express and Philippines Air Asia .

The new slots can be used for both international and domestic flights until March next year .

Currently, NAIA’s runway accommodates 40 events (take off and landing per hour), still manageable though beyond the designed capacity of an average of 36 events per hour.  This is to accommodate the growing volume of passengers which is  to reach more than 35 million this year.

Local airlines have said  congestion at NAIA has hampered their domestic expansion.

Jaime Bautista, PAL president,  said most of the airline’s expansion have been focused on flights originating from Cebu such as those going to Nagoya, Osaka and Narita.

PAL has also started flying out of Cebu to other key domestic airports like Davao and  Iloilo.

By next year, PAL will start flying from Cebu to Los Angeles, California , Philippine Air Asia, which  operates a fleet of purely Airbus 320s, said its expansion plan in the domestic market has also been hampered by infrastructure limitation as only few airports in the country can accommodate big-sized  aircraft.

To increase NAIA’s air  traffic movements from 40 to 60 events in the next six months, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) tapped the British firm joint venture of NATS Services Limited and Schema Konsult, Inc. as a temporary solution to ease congestion at NAIA.

For the long-term, however, DOTC is eyeing to  build a new Manila international airport  to avert further congestion in the next five years.

“ The  DOTC  and the MIAA have  said  the existing  Manila airport no matter what they do will max out its capacity by 2022 and 2023. We need a final decision on where we should locate the new Manila international airport,” said Rogelio Singson, secretary of the  Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

Noriaki Niwa, chief representative in the Philippines of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), said the feasibility study for the new Manila airport will be completed by January or February next year once President Aquino finalizes the decision on the location of the airport this year.

The feasibility study would determine the project cost, design and implementation of the project.

From five, the number of proposed sites for the new airport has narrowed down to two: the central Manila Bay   area worth  $13 billion and Sangley Point in Cavite,  $10 billion.

To address the anticipated growing traffic at the country’s main hub, JICA has suggested to build a new airport near NAIA.

Image Source:

The new airport would address the anticipated passenger growth which  projected to reach 37.8 million in  2015;  47.8 million in 2020; 59 million in 2015; 71.6 million by 2030; 85.6 million by 2035 and 101 million by 2040.

Source: Myla Iglesias,

San Miguel To Finish NAIA Toll Road In May, 2016

Conglomerate San Miguel Corp. said Monday it may complete the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Expressway toll road in either April or May yet because of right-of-way problems.

Image Source: MB File Photo

San Miguel Holdings Corp. chief finance officer Raoul Eduardo Romulo said in an interview at the sidelines of the 41st Philippine Business Conference right of way problems had delayed the project by 12 months. The Naia Expressway project was originally scheduled to open this month.

Romulo said the project could be further delayed because of work stoppage during the upcoming Asia Pacific Economic Conference in November.

“We will endeavor to make it April or May,” Romulo said.

“But with the Apec they [government] are making us stop work for entire seven days. The impact of that in real time is 13.5 days. But with out catch up plan, we will be able to reduce the 12-month delay by six months,” he said.

The Naia Expressway is about 40 percent complete.

The P15.52-billion Naia Expressway project is a four-lane, 7.15-kilometer elevated expressway that aims to provide easy access to and from the three Naia terminals and link the Skyway and the Manila-Cavite Toll Expressway.

The project will interconnect the South Luzon Expressway-Skyway to the Cavitex, Macapagal Boulevard and the Entertainment City of state-run Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.

San Miguel Holdings is facing ROW problems in a number of key areas, including Villamor Airbase, Naia Road, Tambo and locations along the Quirino to Roxas Boulevard stretch, which government has not delivered so far.

Alec Cruz, head of tollway project of San Miguel Holdings, earlier said the ROW issues had made it “very difficult” to complete the project before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Manila.

He said the Public Works Department must deliver about 20 percent to 25 percent of the ROW requirements to complete the project by October.

“We’d also like to ask for the cooperation of utility companies such as Meralco [Manila Electric Co.], the telecommunications companies and businesses in the area whose facilities need to be relocated to make way for the construction,” Cruz said.

Aside from the Naia Expressway, another San Miguel infrastructure project facing delay is the P26.5-billion ($592.01 million) toll road project connecting the South Luzon expressway to the North Luzon expressway.

Just like Naia Expressway, Romulo said the connector road was facing delays because right of way problems.

The project aims to decongest the major roads of Metro Manila, specially Edsa and C5, and reduce travel time from Buendia to Balintawak in Quezon City to 20 minutes or less from two hours.

It will link the South and North Luzon Expressways through eight strategic interchanges in Buendia, President Quirino Avenue, Plaza Dilao and Nagtahan, Aurora Boulevard, E. Rodriguez Avenue, Quezon Avenue, Sgt. Rivera and Balintawak.

The project, which is expected to be completed in 2017, also aims to stimulate the growth of trade and industry in the southern, central and northern Luzon areas.

Source: Jenniffer B. Austria,

New NAIA To Be Operational In 2 Decades

Manila Bay or Sangley Point?

MANILA, Philippines — It will take two decades before passengers coming in and out of the country can experience the planned Manila’s new international airport.

This is what Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said on Tuesday, October 27, when asked for updates on plans to replace Manila’s dilapidated Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

“Based on the latest discussions with JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency), it will take two decades from feasibility study to actual operations of the New NAIA,” Balisacan said in a media briefing in Ortigas district.

JICA is being commissioned by the Philippine government to explore possible locations for the New NAIA project.

The chief of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) added that JICA is targeting to come up with the full feasibility study of the new Manila airport “by early next year.”

During a forum in Manila last week, Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said on the sidelines that his department could endorse to the NEDA Board two possible sites for the new NAIA: the reclamation area in Manila Bay and the naval station in Sangley Point in Cavite.

“The difference between the two is that Sangley will cost about $10 billion, while the Manila Bay area is at around $13 billion,” Abaya told reporters last week.

For Balisacan, “Cost is one of the major considerations. But what we are really pushing is for Metro Manila to become more livable through projects like this.”

A mix of financing options

In a copy of JICA’s discussion paper on its New NAIA proposal obtained by reporters in June last year, the agency said “there will be 3 sources of funds — the public sector, ODA and the private sector” to “arrive at a workable project package.”

JICA told the local Transportation department that “the national government should consider availing of official development assistance (ODA) loans” from the Japanese agency.

These loans, according to JICA, would have preferential terms, such as an interest rate of from 0.55% to 1.40% denominated in Japanese yen (inclusive of government guarantees and foreign exchange risk cover), 40-year repayment, and 10-year grace period on the principal repayment.

JICA added in its discussion paper that the applicable interest rate will be 1.4% as there will be no need for an intermediary as the Japanese government will be dealing directly with the Philippine government.

A segment under PPP

The Japanese agency said that another source of financing for the project could be a private sector proponent under the public-private partnership (PPP) scheme.

The private sector partner “should have substantial financial resources at its disposal” due to the huge capital requirements of the project, JICA said.

Another source of project financing, JICA proposed, is through a combination of national government funds in the form of viability gap funding, a special infrastructure allotment, and funds from the implementing agencies and select stakeholders.

Viability gap funding in a PPP project means the government would fund the gap and give the money to the concessionaire.

For beyond 2025, the transportation department said that the government will have two options: to close NAIA once the new international airport is expanded into a four-runway airport or retain the dual-airport system and develop NAIA into a two- to three-runway airport.

Source: Chrisee Dela Paz,