January 24, 2018, 1:43 am
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Gov’t sets aside plans to build new airport

The government has put on hold a plan to build a new international airport as it is prioritizing the decongestion of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

Manuel Tamayo,  newly-installed DOTr undersecretary for airport, said this would be done through the expansion of the Clark International Airport and the Sangley Airport in Cavite to divert traffic from NAIA.

“DOTr and CAAP (Civil Avaition Authority of the Philippines) will develop that (Sangley). We have the go-signal. We’ll be spending about P600 million to P700 million,” Tamayo said.

DOTr has conducted pre-bid conference for the rehabilitation and repair of the Sangley Airport, which once completed, will accommodate the general aviation and turboprop aircraft operation of NAIA.

The  Sangley project entails the overlay of the runway, reblocking of concrete pavement, construction of ramp and drainage system and the  construction of four hangars and a passenger terminal building (PTB) and other building facilities.

 The project is expected to be completed in 12 to 15 months from awarding the contract.

The DOTr has asked the local airport operator to transfer some of its domestic and international flights from NAIA to Clark to ease congestion  as  NAIA is currently operating 40 take-off and landing per hour,  not enough to accommodate the increasing traffic.

 “In Clark, we are building new terminal right away,” Tamayo said.

 DOTr has adopted the hybrid Public Private Partnership in bidding Clark’s  new PTB.

On the whole government has adopted this mode for Clark airport where it will develop the project on its own before bidding out the operation and maintenance component. It will no longer entertain unsolicited proposals.

This will enable government to fast-track projects without the risk of delay brought about by possible lawsuits filed by losing bidders. 

 Tamayo said the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) put on hold the proposals of tandem All-Asia Resources and Reclamation Corp. (ARRC) and Belle Corp. and of San Miguel Corp. to build a new international airport that will address the future growth in traffic.

 Tamayo said the proposals are still being considered not for immediate implementation but more for more for the medium-term. 

“(What) we need  is a short-term plan to decongest Manila. if we can reduce the aircraft that are operating there (NAIA)” he said. 

 “(The unsolicited proposals of ARRC-Belle and San Miguel are) still there. The (government is)  still accepting these proposals but (they have)  to take a backseat for now.  We need to improve Manila. We need to improve Clark,” Tamayo said.

 ARRC and Belle had  proposed  the  P1.3-trillion Philippine Global Gateway (PGG),  a new international airport, seaport and economic zone  located at reclaimed land off  the coast of Sangley Point in Cavite.

 The project challenges the proposal of San Miguel which plans to build a new international gateway for $10 billion. 

The airport  is proposed to cover 1,300 hectares, double the size of NAIA which is 650 hectares. The proposed new airport will have two runway with initial capacity of 50 million passengers and can accommodate up to 90 million by 2050. 
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