A FEASIBILITY study (FS) on the recommendation by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to build an alternate international airport in Sangley Point in Cavite will be out in June, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said.
“They have agreed to give us the FS next month,” DOTC Secretary Emilio Joseph Abaya told reporters.
“Bidding it might be difficult. At least what we could do for whoever will replace us is to get a NEDA Board approval and make clear the direction of government. This will allow business and other stakeholders to align their plans on that position,” Abaya added.
The country needs a new international airport to meet rising demand, which the seriously congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) could not meet despite an ongoing upgrade of facilities.
While four terminals are already in place, NAIA has only one primary runway (and a secondary runway mostly for smaller planes) to accommodate about 550 planes landing and taking off per day. This has created serious congestion and countless flight delays, especially during peak travel seasons.
The government is being assisted by JICA in its plan to establish a new airport, Abaya said.
DOTC earlier cited Sangley Point as a possible option for the location of a new international airport.
Abaya said earlier that JICA recognizes the merits of Sangley Point as it is only 20 minutes by land to and from Metro Manila. Another option is a reclaimed piece of land along Laguna de Bay.
He added that it was very difficult to look for a 2,000-hectare piece of land in Metro Manila that can host a new international airport.
San Miguel Corp. (SMC) earlier expressed interest to build a new airport to replace NAIA which is already congested.
The conglomerate has proposed building a new airport complex comprised of four runways and a large passenger terminal building on an 800-hectare piece of land near Metro Manila. The SMC-proposed project would cost $10 billion.
Abaya, however, said that the government has yet to receive a written proposal from the SMC.
But he added that it would be better for the government to handle the project through a solicited, competitive, and transparent bidding.
Abaya had earlier said government policy tends to lean toward entertaining private sector development proposals.
The administration of President Benigno Aquino 3rd has also pursued—with limited success—a policy of shifting traffic away from Manila toward other growth centers like Clark in Pampanga.