Edmund Lim, vice chairman of All-Asia Resources and Reclamation Corp. (ARRC), a unit of the Solar Group, yesterday said the company is ready to start building a new airport in Cavite with the government not needing to spend a centavo.
Lim said that the international airport in Sangley can be operational in four to five years after the government gives a notice to proceed.
“It will be built by our company in partnership with foreign partners without the need for a single cent from the government. We have already signed all the contracts to make this happen. We are ready but we need the government to give its nod,” he added.
Lim stressed the need to have two additional international airports in Clark and another in Sangley Point in Cavite.
ARRC is pushing for the development of Sangley as the new site for the international airport vis-a-vis the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
According to Lim, having two international gateway airports is good “for public convenience and to cope with demand growth in the future.”
“These two are strategically located to serve the northern and southern parts of Luzon. Those in Metro Manila can choose which one is more convenient to them which will also help ease traffic,” said Lim.
Lim said Clark International Airport only needs to be upgraded and “perhaps should be the one whose operations and maintenance should be privatized,” referring to a government decision to hold the O&M for NAIA apparently to give way to the development of a new airport.
NAIA has two intersecting runways and limited space for expansion, especially for a new parallel runway.
“We can have two airports we can be proud of, not just one. Clark is underutilized because it really needs to have a new terminal and infrastructure for easy access. It is the one that must be privatized, not NAIA,” said Lim.
CAPA Aviation Center, an international think tank, said in its January report NAIA should only be upgraded but not privatized, though it runs the risk of discouraging the construction of a new airport unless the contract is sweetened.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency, on the other hand, said NAIA has no expansion space to cope with current and future growth, and must be replaced by a new one, preferably in Sangley.
The Solar Group, of which ARRC is a part of, was earlier reported to have partnered with the SM Group’s Belle Corp. to push the development of Sangley as an international air hub.