Duterte government urged to pursue $13-B international airport
Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) - June 5, 2016 - 12:00am

At reclaimed Manila Bay site in Parañaque

MANILA, Philippines – The local government of Parañaque urged the administration of president-elect Rodrigo Duterte to push through with the proposed $13 billion international airport in central Manila Bay. 

This is one of the potential sites recommended by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the local government said.

Reelected Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez said a new airport would replace the congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

Furthermore, it would also attract local and foreign investors at the sprawling 100-hectare Pagcor Entertainment City.

The government has been wanting to build a new international airport to address the congestion and traffic in NAIA.

Specifically, the government wants to have the new gateway to be located just 25 to 30 minutes away from NAIA, which is expected to reach its full capacity soon.

Olivarez said building the airport in central Manila Bay or the waterfront reclamation project in Manila Bay would be ideal. 

The proposed airport will be within Parañaque’s territorial jurisdiction and located right at the disputed waterfront reclamation project in Manila Bay.

Under the plan, it will make use of 157 hectares of reclaimed land known as the “Freedom Island,” he said. 

The proposed airport is envisioned to have an international and domestic passenger handling capacity of 75 million passengers. 

NAIA is expected to hit overcapacity this year with 37.78 million passengers. By 2040, passenger traffic is expected to hit 101.49 million.

In 2012, NAIA accommodated 31.88 million passengers, or above the 30 million yearly optimal capacity of the terminal. Its maximum handling capacity stands at 35 million passengers a year.

Diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp., which used to operate flag carrier Philippine Airlines, earlier proposed to build a new international airport at the reclaimed area along the Manila-Cavite Coastal Road for $10 billion but this did not happen. 

Olivarez hopes that this time, the incoming administration will finally consider building a new airport. 

He expressed confidence that the new international airport would make Parañaque not only the country’s top tourist and entertainment destination but also one of the best in the whole Asia-Pacific region.

“After all, our main target is to attract tourists and investors, for them to bring in money and investments and help our city’s economy while generating employment for our people,” Olivarez said.

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