Airport
At a press conference, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said the signing of the “pledge of commitment” was in response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to improve the overstretched Manila airport.
Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Airlines sign pact for better air travel convenience, Sangley airport development
(Philstar.com) - June 26, 2019 - 2:54pm

MANILA, Philippines — Airline executives signed Wednesday a pact with the government to improve air travel convenience and develop the Sangley Airport in Cavite to help decongest the aging Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

At a press conference, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said the signing of the “pledge of commitment” was in response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to improve the overstretched Manila airport.

Cebu Air president and CEO Lance Gokongwei, AirAsia president and CEO Dexter Comendador, Philippine Airlines Officer-in-Charge Vivienne Tan, PAL Express President Bonifacio Sam and CebGo Vice President for Corporate Affairs Paterno Mantaring Jr. signed the commitment pact.

"The commitment aims to address the growing demands for air travel in the Philippines, particularly at the NAIA. Since prior 2016 until 2018, NAIA’s annual passenger traffic increased from 36.5 million to 45 million, which is 130% of its design capacity," the DOTr said.

"Number of flights rose by 5.75%, resulting in an escalated utilization of airport slots per hour by 22.2%, or from 36 to 44," it added.

Sangley for turboprop operations

Malacañang earlier this month said Duterte wants to transfer “general aviation or domestic flights” to Sangley Airbase to ease congestion at NAIA.

The DOTr targets to open the Sangley gateway before the end of the year. In a bid to meet this goal, Tugade had ordered 24/7 construction at the former US naval facility in Cavite.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of Wednesday’s signing ceremony, the Transportation chief said runway construction at Sangley airport has been finished while the hangar is already 30% done.

The gateway's drainage is 70% completed while building the passenger terminal is 40% done, he added.

According to Tugade, Cebu Pacific will establish its turboprop cargo operations at Sangley airport.

Meanwhile, PAL and AirAsia are still studying whether they can operate flights that utilize turboprop planes at Sangley airport.

To note, the Sangley gateway’s runway — which is 2,300 x 45 meters — can only accommodate some turboprop aircraft models.

Cebu Pacific is in the final phase of converting two of its ATR 72-500 passenger aircraft into full freighter planes — the only commercial passenger airline in the Philippines to have specialized aircraft to transport cargo.

The first of the two freighter aircraft is expected to enter into service before August.

READ: Cebu Pacific says Sangley development a ‘quick win’

Asked if the budget carrier plans to acquire more cargo freighters, Cebu Pacific’s Gokongwei told reporters: “We’re going to assess that first. We started with two [cargo freighters] and we’ll see how the market goes. But I guess with the growth of express and e-commerce. We hope that there’s market for such.” — Ian Nicolas Cigaral

SANGLEY AIRPORT
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with