Manila Int’l Airport Authority Adopts SITA Technology for T1 & T2

The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) today announced the selection of SITA technology as it takes the first steps to transform Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to be among the leading airports supporting IATA’s Fast Travel program. The airport is the main international gateway to the Philippines with more than 37 million passengers and serves as a hub for the country’s major carriers.

Image result for SITA

The agreement includes the implementation of the most up-to-date airport common-use technologies at Terminals 1 and 2 for fast check-in and bag drop, along with new bag tracking. SITA’s systems, which are used at the world’s top airports, are set to significantly boost ongoing efforts to improve the passenger experience at NAIA.

In this first stage of NAIA’s transformation, SITA will completely overhaul the passenger processing systems in Terminal 1 and 2 putting its next-generation technology SITA AirportConnect Open in place. This will be the platform for NAIA’s next phase of transformation over the coming months, allowing the airport to introduce common-use self-service kiosks, self-bag drop and self-boarding gates.

In addition, a new local departure control system (LDCS) will be implemented. This is the first time an LDCS will be available in Manila and it will provide vital back up to the airlines in cases of disruption of their systems.

Ed Monreal, General Manager, Manila International Airport Authority, said: “Our aim is to improve the airport experience for passengers at Ninoy Aquino International Airport. SITA’s next-generation technology allows the airlines to offer fast and efficient service in Terminals 1 and 2 and its baggage reconciliation system will also ensure bags are electronically tracked until aircraft loading, reducing passenger inconvenience of mishandled bags.

“We are starting with shared airport systems and as we progress in our transformation we plan to introduce self-service technology such as check-in kiosks, bag drop and possibly self-boarding. The airlines have committed to test these self-service systems in the coming months as we work together to alleviate the peak season passenger surge.”

MIAA’s strategic transformation of the two terminals is in line with international standards set by IATA in the Fast Travel program. This program addresses the future of travel and provides more choice and more control for passengers while lowering costs for the industry. It includes self-service options in six areas of a passenger’s airport journey to increase airport efficiency and deliver a better travel experience for the customer.

As part of its strategy to manage the balance between continuous passenger flow and stringent security measures, the MIAA is also evaluating systems which allow security agents to quickly and efficiently validate passengers’ paper and mobile bar-coded boarding passes. These will support the transformation and better facilitate the flow of passengers through airport security.

Ilya Gutlin, President, SITA APAC, said: “This is an exciting time for the air transport industry in the Philippines. Passenger traffic is growing and there is a clear commitment from the authorities to transform the passenger experience at Ninoy Aquino International Airport. SITA’s world-class technology will replace legacy systems at NAIA and underpin that transformation. It will provide the opportunity for a better passenger experience at every step of the journey while enabling efficient airport operations.”

Manila’s passengers are set to enjoy a world-class airport experience. They can expect faster check-in, better baggage management and a smoother journey through NAIA’s Terminals 1 and 2 as the new SITA technology is rolled out over the coming months.

News feed from SITA

Mactan-Cebu Int’l Airport’s 2nd Runway

Second runway for Mactan-Cebu International Airport is in the offing.

MCIAA, which owns and manages the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, has started laying the groundwork for an additional runway according to Nigel Paul C. Villarete, MCIAA general manager.

Artist’s rendition of Mactan-Cebu International Airport’s second runway.

“Its construction is not a priority concern at present but they were preparing for a projected increase in the number of take-offs and landings done in one hour. This is a definite long-term direction for MCIAA. In terms of runway capacity, we are still at a little less than half,” Villarete said.

A second runway would be needed when use of the existing runway reaches 80 percent, he added. Construction of a new runway is estimated to last five years.

“It takes time to develop a new runway. We just hope that they will give it the same priority,” he said.

The airport, situated in Lapu-Lapu City, introduced new direct flights to Los Angeles, Taipei, Xiamen and Dubai. Villarete said he also expects Qatar Airways to resume its services in October or, at latest, in March next year.

The MCIAA has also been in talks with Etihad Airways and Oman Air since 2013 for other possible direct flights to the Middle East.

Still more airlines are expected to come in with the completion of MCIA’s second terminal in 2018, as well as with MCIAA and GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corp.’s (GMCAC) successful run at the recently concluded Routes Asia 2016.

“I believe our PPP endeavor was of great help. The very transparent transaction and the expected boost of capacity when T-2 will be completed in 2018 placed

Mactan in the airlines’ radar. We will have very exciting times ahead,” Villarete said.

For the next three years, MCIAA will also repaving the runway and service roads as well as develop a better lighting system for the taxiway.

The airport authority is also looking into replacing the six-kilometer stretch of security fence surrounding most of the airport’s airfield.

Villarete said they are also considering installing closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras along the fence to improve security.

“We’ve heightened alert levels after Brussels, but it just so happened also that we are already at heightened security level because of Holy Week,” he said.

He assured that MCIA remains safe.

Source: Vanessa Clair Lucero,

Flights Retimed To Address Delays

Airport authorities are soon to implement a new measure to address flight delay involving a more efficient implementation of the current policy on flight movements per hour.

Ten flight movements will be grouped per 15-minute block periods to ensure compliance with the said policy of having a maximum of 40 movements per hour.

This was discussed in a coordination meeting on Tuesday of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, and the Civil Aeronautics Board with executives of domestic airlines.

Scheduled arriving and departing flights beyond 10 movements per block time will be retimed and accommodated in the next quarter-hour.

Likewise, flights which will be unable to meet their original schedule will be retimed to the next block period to guarantee the on-time performance of other flights.

Airline executives – including Philippine Airlines (PAL) President Jaime Bautista, PAL Express Vice President for Ground Operations Bryan Lim, Cebu Pacific Chief Executive Adviser Garry Kingshott, Cebgo President Michael Shau, and Air Asia Zest Chairwoman Maan Hontiveros – were agreeable to the measure.

They requested, however, more time to review how to align their internal procedures with the new measure.

MIAA General Manager Jose Angel Honrado thanks the airline executives for their continued cooperation to address the concerns of the flying public.

“It is high time that the authorities and the airlines set aside differences to enhance the experience of every passenger. Through effective collaboration, this new measure will minimize delays at the NAIA,” Honrado says.

Further consultations will be conducted by the MIAA with foreign airlines and its slot coordinator, Airport Coordination Australia, to finalize the said measure.

The MIAA expects its full implementation to start as early as next month. (MIAA-NAIA)


Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority To Build PAF’s ‘Replacement’ Buildings

CEBU. Before the GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. can proceed with construction of terminal 2, the Philippine Air Force (PAF) will have to vacate 17 structures at the Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base. The MCIAA has already agreed to shoulder the cost of building the PAF’s new facilities. Completion date has been set at six months. (Image Source: Cebu Daily News)

THE Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) has agreed to build 17 structures for the Philippine Air Force (PAF) before demolishing its buildings at the Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base.

Once the structures are built, construction of the MCIA Terminal 2 will start, said Gov. Hilario Davide III, member of the MCIAA.

The MCIAA Board met yesterday at the governor’s conference room.

In an interview, MCIAA General Manager Nigel Paul Villarete said they are looking at completing the PAF structures within six months.

Getting prepared

The MCIAA, in its Jan. 12 notice, informed Pamatong Grandby Joint Venture, the contractor, to mobilize its equipment so it can start building the PAF structures.

“Contract is for 10 months but we can do it phase by phase because there are 17 structures,” Villarete said.

The MCIAA will shoulder the cost of the project, which is estimated to reach around P800 million.

Pamatong Grandby’s winning bid, though, was for P670 million.

The 17 facilities are located in a 90-hectare lot whose ownership was transferred to the MCIAA when it became an authority in 1991.

PAF still owns 153 hectares adjacent to the Mactan air base.

In a press conference, the governor said if the contractor can hasten construction, then they can meet the six-month completion target.

Davide said PAF officials want the new structures to be completed before vacating their existing facilities.


“The only solution there is for the contractor since the contract for the replication has already been awarded to it. The contractor should start building already the 17 structures para makabalhin na dayon ang Philippine Air Force headquarters diha (so the PAF headquarters can transfer).

And then i-demolish mao nana aron masugdan dayon ang pagtukod sa Terminal 2 (And then demolition of the old buildings will follow so that the construction of the MCIA Terminal 2 can start),” said the governor.

Villarete said he met with PAF officials last Thursday.

“But primarily you have also to look at what are the constraints. The constraints really is we have an active airport and we have an active base and that means that you cannot just do something what you do in normal construction activities. There are security and safety restrictions. All of these we have to take into account,” Villarete said.

Earlier, Louei Ferrer, president of GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC), said the project should be completed “the soonest possible time.”

Construction of terminal 2 is supposed to start in the first quarter of this year. GMCAC will operate and manage the terminal for 25 years.

GMCAC will also rehabilitate the existing terminal.

Source: Flornisa M. Gitgano,

3rd Runway at MNL’s Congested Airport (And It’s Final)

3rd runway for NAIA
3rd runway for NAIA

Philippine President Benigno Aquino has ordered the construction of a third runway at Manila’s main international airport to ease air traffic congestion in one of Southeast Asia’s fastest growing economies.

The project is expected to cost at least 2.4 billion pesos ($55 million), and the amount may increase to include the construction of a fourth terminal at the airport, Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said.

“The president’s guidance was very clear. We’ll find ways to have this completed before his term ends because the benefits are clear,” Abaya told Reuters. Aquino steps down after a single six-year term in June 2016.

The runway would be a quick-fix solution to the congestion plaguing Manila’s dilapidated airport, which is currently the main gateway for international travel. The government is also looking into building another international airport at a former U.S. naval base southwest of the capital to serve future growth in travel and tourism.

Another runway would increase the number of planes taking off and landing to 48 planes per hour from 42 planes currently. If an additional airport terminal is built, the take-off and landing rate could further rise to at least 58 planes an hour, Abaya said.

Source: Yahoo News

NAIA-1 Rehabilitation by 2015

NAIA Terminal 1 under renovation.
NAIA Terminal 1 under renovation.

THE COMPLETION of the P1.64-billion rehabilitation of the Ninoy Aquino International Terminal 1 (NAIA-1) and the transfer of airline operations to NAIA Terminal 3 are expected to happen in the first quarter of 2015, a top official said.


“Rehab for NAIA Terminal 1 will be finished by first quarter of 2015; this is to prepare for the APEC [Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation] Summit next year,” Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Jose Angel Honrado told BusinessWorld on the sidelines of a press conference in Mandaluyong City last Thursday.

Mr. Honrado said NAIA-1 needs rehabilitation as it is more than 30 years old. He said the project involves six phases and is overseen by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) and directly supervised by MIAA.

“Phase 1 is already done, the other five phases are under way,” he said, explaining further that the project involves structural retrofitting, improvement of mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection facilities, and renovation of the decades-old terminal building.

The DoTC in December 2013 awarded to D.M. Consunji, Inc. the rehabilitation project.

NAIA-1 has an annual passenger load of 8 million, almost double its original capacity of 4.5 million passengers. The government aims to revert the current passenger load to that figure.

As part of the government’s efforts to decongest NAIA-1, some foreign airline operations at the terminal — including Delta Airlines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Cathay Pacific — were transferred to NAIA-3.

Mr. Honrado said more airlines will be moved to NAIA-3 next year, as the August-December period is for ensuring that the system is working.

“The terminal 3 can accept more, it’s just that we… have to find out and tweak the system,” he said.

“That’s why we started with five international airlines, then Zest Air will add two, also Cebu Pacific with two, then first quarter next year, we’ll be adding more international and domestic airlines.”

Mr. Honrado also said the MIAA is expecting two international airlines to fly out of NAIA-1. “Oman Air and Garuda Indonesia will first fly in at NAIA-1 as many airlines are transferring from terminal 1 to 3, but they are also set to move to NAIA-3,” he said.

Last week, the MIAA announced ongoing repairs of air-conditioning chillers at NAIA Terminal 2, targeted to be completed next month. —

Source: Chrisee Jalyssa V. Dela Paz,

NAIA T1 and T2 To Be Connected

NAIA Terminal 1 under renovation.
NAIA Terminal 1 under renovation.

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is now looking at further expanding the capacity of the congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport with the full operations at NAIA Terminal 3 to cope with the increasing number of tourists.

Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya yesterday said the government is mulling the interconnection of terminals 1 and 2 of NAIA.

Aside from building a NAIA Terminal 5, Abaya pointed out that the government is studying the possibility of augmenting the passenger capacities of both terminals 1 and 2.

“It will be better if we could bring NAIA Terminal 2 closer to Terminal 1. It will become more convenient for passengers to transfer,” he said on the sidelines of the inaugural flight of Delta Airlines and the opening of its Pacific Club lounge at NAIA 3.

Abaya said the government would first relocate the fuel depot between the two terminals so it could build a structure connecting both passenger terminal buildings.

Latest data from the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) showed that the number of domestic and international passengers increased by 3.1 percent to 32.865 million last year from 31.877 million in 2012.

The four terminals in NAIA have a combined capacity of 30 million.

The DOTC chief earlier announced plans to put up a fifth terminal in NAIA. The building would rise beside the NAIA 3.

He added that the agency is now also resolving the issue concerning the Philippine Village Hotel that is partly owned by the state-run Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).

He said the agency is just awaiting valuation of the Commission on Audit (COA) on the property so it could settle the amount with the GSIS.

“Whatever value – half of it or a fraction of it – will be paid to GSIS then we demolish the building and plan the expansion of Terminal 2,” he said.

He pointed out that the DOTC is also waiting for the recommendation of a consultant with regard to the planned P2-billion parallel runway that would result in more landings and take-offs.

The main issue of the proposed runway that could accommodate Airbus A320 aircraft, he said, is the dislocation of close to 600 families.

Delta Airlines has completed its relocation to NAIA 3 with the opening of its lounge yesterday. Other foreign airlines including KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Emirates, Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific Airways are scheduled to transfer to NAIA 3 from NAIA 1 within the next two months.

Takenaka Corp. of Japan has completed the P1.9- billion rehabilitation of NAIA 3, paving the way for the transfer of the five foreign airlines.

Abaya said the transfer of the “Big Five” to NAIA 3 would decongest NAIA 1 by bringing the volume of passengers back to design capacity of four million from the current eight million.

On the other hand, the volume of passengers at NAIA 3 would increase to about 10 million compared to its design capacity of 13 million a year.

The DOTC chief cited a slight delay in the ongoing P1.3-billion rehabilitation of NAIA 1 being undertaken by DMCI Holdings that is supposed to be completed by January.

“About 80 percent of its passenger area should be done by end February next year. There will be lingering work underneath the passenger area but will not be felt by passengers,” he said.

Based on the recommendation of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the DOTC is looking at putting into operation a new international airport probably at Sangley Point in Cavite by 2027 with the joint development of NAIA in Manila and the Clark International Airport in Pampanga.

The government is open to evaluating the proposal of SMC to put up a new $10-billion airport in a 1,600-hectare property owned by CyberBay Corp. along the Manila-Cavite coastal road.

Source: Rudy Santos, The Philippine Star  

Ninoy Aquino Int’l Airport: Contingency Measures Activated In Case of Bad Weather

NAIA Terminal 1 under renovation.
NAIA Terminal 1 under renovation.

MANILA, Philippines—Authorities at Ninoy Aquino International Airport have begun designing contingency measures to ensure passenger safety and welfare following the onset of the rainy season.

Manila International Airport Authority general manager Jose Angel Honrado convened the Weather Disturbance Management Committee on Friday to discuss overall direction and control procedures during bad weather, which is considered a crisis situation by aviation authorities.

Included in the meeting were MIAA senior officials and managers of NAIA’s four terminals.

Honrado, the committee chair, specifically directed the terminal managers to convene their respective emergency response teams.

“They are mandated under MIAA guidelines on severe and extreme weather disturbances to carry out emergency procedures in their areas of responsibility in accordance with the airport emergency plan. Under the guidelines, the terminal Manager is the ERT (emergency response team) chief,” Honrado said.

As ERT chief, the terminal manager takes command during Storm Signal No. 2-4, and/or under yellow, orange and red alerts imposed by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration.

Each ERT is composed of the following groups with corresponding responsibilities:

•  Evacuation Group guides tenants in evacuation to a safe place and holding area. It is led by the terminal safety, operations and public affairs groups;

•  Medical & First Aid Group  renders immediate first aid assistance in case of injuries. It is led by the Medical Division;

•  Security Group secures the terminal premises and and provides crowd control. It is led by the Terminal Police Division;

•  Facilities Group ensures that all facilities and equipment remain operational during severe weather conditions.

At the meeting Honrado also ordered the terminal managers to ensure that target completion dates were met for projects that could pose problems during the rainy season if left unfinished.

“Like in NAIA Terminal 2, we have completed waterproofing works in the domestic portion. We have now moved to the international wing,” he said.

The MIAA said the rehabilitation and completion works in the other terminals were proceeding as planned.

Source: Jerome Aning, PDI

Test Case For Passenger Rights: ZestAir, Airport Sued


MANILA, Philippines – Seeking “to encourage other air travelers who suffered” the way he did, lawyer and former senatorial candidate Samson Alcantara has filed a civil case that could set a precedent in the enforcement of the Air Passenger Bill of Rights.

Alcantara, 79, fainted at the airport on May 23, sustaining injuries, after lining up for two hours at the check-in counter of Zest Airways at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 4.

On Wednesday morning, June 11, he sued Zest Airways Incorporated (also known as Air Asia Zest) and the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) for at least P1.1 million ($25,135*) in civil damages and P200,000 ($4,570*) in attorney’s fees.

Alcantara said Zest Airway’s check-in area was “hot, congested, was not provided with seats.” It “did not have any senior citizens’ express or priority lanes.”

Because of this, Terminal 4’s check-in premises “pose a serious danger to the health and safety of the air passengers,” he said in his 5-page complaint. Yet, passengers, “to reach their destination, have no choice but to use the same.”

‘Malevolence and Callousness’

In a text message to Rappler, Alcantara said, “It should be noted that what happened to me was not the first one.”

He said he filed the case “to make those (airline authorities) more responsible in the performance of their duties.” The case was filed before the Quezon City Regional Trial Court.

The reliefs he sought, if and when granted, will serve as a lesson on prioritizing the welfare of passengers, particularly the elderly, he said.

In his complaint, Alcantara cited the Air Passenger Bill of Rights, which took effect in December 2012.

Under Section 9.2, Chapter III, there must be at least one check-in counter per air carrier prioritizing persons with disabilities, senior citizens, and persons requiring special assistance.

If impracticable, the airlines must provide priority handling and processing of said passengers.

He said Zest Airways and the MIAA showed “malevolence and callousness” in their use of the terminal’s check-in area despite the insufficient facilities and “despite widespread public outrage.”

Willful Breach of Duty

On May 23, Alcantara was set to depart for Kotakinabalu, Malaysia, for a weekend excursion with his other faculty members of the University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Civil Law.

Alcantara “lost consciousness, fell on the floor and sustained injuries in the head and left elbow” during the wait at Zest Airways’ check-in counter, his complaint read. He was brought to NAIA clinic and later to the San Juan De Dios Hospital, where he was discharged 3 days later.

Alcantara said MIAA showed “bad faith” when it implied in a May 23 press statement that Alcantara’s fall was due to hunger.

He said he “was not hungry on that occasion” and “has more than enough income to avoid hunger.”

Alcantara is a practicing lawyer, a lecturer and bar reviewer. He is also president of Social Justice Society (SJS), the political party that first petitioned the High Court to declare the Priority Development Assistance Fund unconstitutional.

The PDAF is a lump sum used at the discretion of lawmakers to finance their community development pet projects. –

Opinion: NAIA 1 Mess Is Anti-Filipino


The gross mismanagement of NAIA is anti-Filipino, unpatriotic. No Filipino who loves his country will inflict such suffering on fellow Filipinos. Anyone who subjects the country and our people to international ridicule for having the worst or near worst airport worldwide has to be anti-Filipino.

I caught the replay of Karen Davila’s interview of DOTC Sec. Jun Abaya last week where he blamed the non-functioning air conditioners to government procurement policies. It takes nine months to get anything, he pointed out, compared to private companies where things can be purchased right away.

I was about to totally lose my respect for SecJun but he quickly caught himself and added that a government manager who is aware of the procurement lag time should plan ahead and request for things way in advance. He stopped short of blaming the NAIA GM for failing to do that, the reason why NAIA is now a hell hole.

Sayang. If only Karen was better informed, she could have pointed out that the air conditioning problem was not new. It existed even before the Aquino administration took office. GM Bodet Honrado knew the problem on Day One but did nothing.

In fact, all three NAIA terminals have been having that problem on and off. SecJun must remember I once texted him to tell him Terminal 3 was hot as an oven and that was exactly a year ago. Terminal 2 had similar problems but Ramon Ang made a quick decision to just let Philippine Airlines quickly repair and replace problem air conditioners (and back up power system too) even if there is no assurance the airline would be reimbursed by the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA). It didn’t take nine months.

GM Honrado had been managing or rather, he had been mismanaging NAIA for almost four years now. Any boss who still accepts his excuses for failure must by now take full responsibility for the underling’s mess.

I found it amusing that SecJun told Karen he has ordered NAIA management to do stop gap measures like buying whatever air conditioning packages they can get their hands on and do it quickly. Emergency purchases, in other words. Nothing warms the cockles of the corrupt bureaucrat’s heart than thoughts of overpriced goods justified by emergency needs.

I have been told that inducing an emergency situation had been a usual practice of many bureaucrats including or probably, specially those at NAIA. There were even suggestions that they may have deliberately caused facilities like air conditioners to malfunction so emergency purchases can be made.

If GM Honrado cannot manage NAIA, why does he insist on being there? I say it is unpatriotic to be inept in a way that compromises the quality of service delivery to the public. And it is unpatriotic of P-Noy to knowingly keep a friend who lacks the competence to hold public office.

I am embarrassed and angered by NAIA. I don’t know of any Filipino, perhaps even Honrado himself, who is not embarrassed by the state of affairs at NAIA.

I caught an interview of Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima on TV Patrol and when he was asked about what delegates to the World Economic Forum would think about the Philippines after seeing and experiencing NAIA, I sensed Purisima was embarrassed too.

But since he is a cabinet member, Purisima tried to respond the best way he can. He quipped that in other countries they get excited with heat. I guess he was trying to be funny in a sarcastic kind of way. He should have said that Tourism Secretary Mon Jimenez asked Honrado to give the delegates a warm welcome and Honrado is just being efficiently compliant.

Sec. Purisima cannot in all seriousness believe what he said that the WEF delegates will take the NAIA mess as an indication that things are moving on and progress is being made. As I said, it has been almost four years… if it is only now that such slow movement is happening, something is terribly wrong.

I doubt WEF delegates will look kindly at the NAIA mess. Adequate infrastructure is one of WEF’s indicators for competitiveness. The last time they measured 148 countries, we were 84th on transport infrastructure in general, 113th in airports and 116th in seaports. Totally pathetic!

Last year’s WEF conference in Asia was held in Myanmar. Phons Ang, one of my FB friends, just posted some pictures of the airport and it looked nothing like NAIA and best of all, it had air conditioning. Myanmar could have had the excuse that they are just starting to get things done now. Our infrastructure, on the other hand, have deteriorated over the last 30 years.

No wonder, when I posted pictures from a brochure of San Miguel Corporation on their proposed new airport for Metro Manila, the response was almost totally positive. But they want to know how long it will take for this dream to happen.

I share their excitement and expectation but I am afraid I am not that hopeful. I am sure it won’t happen if DOTC SecJun Abaya and his bureaucratic crew have anything to say about it. Sec Jun already said that they don’t favor this kind of initiative from the private sector.

But really, it makes no sense for government to block such an initiative because 1) we need such an airport, like yesterday; 2) DOTC cannot build anything like it in a dozen years and 3) government cannot manage any such facility if present experience in NAIA is any indication.

Besides, what is there to lose? San Miguel will risk its own capital and money borrowed from willing lenders here and abroad. The land that will be used is privately owned. All that the government must concern itself with is compliance with international aviation rules (CAAP), environmental impact and over all safety considerations for the building and the reclaimed land.

Ramon Ang told me that he had presented his plan to P-Noy and he is hopeful. But RSA is always hopeful. Unless P-Noy makes it clear he wants it done, I am sure the DOTC mafia will shoot it down.

But it is good news P-Noy liked RSA’s proposal to add another runway at NAIA that is doable within a year or so depending on how fast government acts. As I reported in this column some weeks ago, RSA showed me a drawing based on Google Map and pointed out where a second runway can be constructed within ICAO specifications.

The second runway will drastically reduce congestion and extend the useful life of NAIA by ten years or so. Most of the land already belongs to government. There is a smaller patch of land that may have to be expropriated or taken back from informal settlers. I see the squatter problem here as less of a real problem if P-Noy is determined to do something big before he leaves office.

But if P-Noy wants to really leave a legacy with impact beyond his term, he has to go with RSA’s new international airport. It will not be finished before 2016 but if they move fast enough, people can already see it taking shape.

For the World Economic Forum happening here this week, it is best to keep expectations low.  Public Works Sec Babes Singson talked of showcasing our infrastructure projects, as if!

Singson got carried away: “We want to show that infrastructure projects really make a difference in economic development like in Singapore and Malaysia. They can see how much they can invest in infrastructure and they can really be assured that the Philippines has an understanding of what they are investing in.”

Sorry to burst your bubble, Sec Singson but the first thing they will see is NAIA 1. The credibility of whatever else you tell them afterwards will be measured against their actual warm experience at NAIA 1 and conclude this government’s infra talk is just a lot of hot air.

Lucky for us, San Miguel came out with their airport plans. I suggest that the colorful airport brochure be given to every delegate. That should help mitigate the horror of the NAIA 1 they personally experienced with the promise of a new modern airport proposed by and to be managed by the private sector.

The San Miguel airport is a big audacious project for us. And we need one such big audacious project to cheer us up and convince us all is not lost and we Pinoys have what it takes to do grand infrastructure like this.

I share the view of Roy Golez who quickly posted his full support for RSA’s proposal on Facebook. “While the economy is moving, it’s not dramatic enough. What we need is a BIG DREAM, a BIG, WORLD CLASS DREAM. We need to DREAM BIG again and this is a doable BIG DREAM. What are we waiting for?????”

Source: Boo Chanco,