DOTr pushes through with Sangley airport plan
Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - April 8, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines —  The Department of Transportation (DOTr) looks to push through with plans to move general aviation flights to Sangley Point by yearend as it targets to wrap up rehabilitation works in the former military base.

Developing general aviation operations in Sangley would help ease congestion in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), as business jets operating in the country’s main gateway would be relocated.

Transportation Undersecretary for aviation Manuel Tamayo said the DOTr has a budget of P500 million for the rehabilitation of the Danilo Atienza Air Base.

“It has not been maintained for a long time. The runway was shortened to 1,200 meters. Now, I’m happy to tell you it’s back to 2,300 meters. It has been completed two months ago,” Tamayo said.

“Now what we are constructing are the hangars and the passenger terminal building. We’ll be setting up a new tower and that will be developed to be night rated as well,” he said. 

Tamayo said the target is to complete all of these constructions within the year. 

“That’s the target, to move general aviation to Sangley. Once operational, that is when we will push for general aviation,” he said.

The DOTr had also expressed plans to revive the idle Subic Airport and make it operational to serve as a possible hub for business jets and help aid in decongesting the country’s main international gateway.

The provincial government of Cavite, for its part, is currently working on its proposal to develop a new international airport in Sangley Point and has been given a mid-year deadline by Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade to resolve all issues surrounding its offer.

The Cavite government’s unsolicited proposal, which has been given the green light by the DOTr in July last year, seeks to develop the former United States naval station into a modern gateway and become an alternative to the NAIA, which is presently operating way beyond its capacity.

Cavite Governor Jesus Crispin Remulla earlier expressed uncertainty as to whether or not they can meet the deadline set by Tugade. 

However, he said they are doing everything at the moment to be able to comply with all the requirements and is pursuing all avenues possible to push through with the airport project.

A private group, the Tieng-led All Asia Resources and Reclamation Corp., has also submitted a $12-billion unsolicited proposal in March last year to finance, construct and develop a new airport to be called “Philippine Sangley International Airport” in Sangley, Cavite.

The proposal seeks to make a regional airport hub which could accommodate about 120 million passengers per year, entailing an investment of $12 billion for development cost alone and a concession period of 50 years.

The proposal, however, was set aside as the DOTr prioritized the government offer. 

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