$10-Billion Sangley Point Airport Project to Start Before PNoy’s Term Ends

NAIA passengers families

The highly anticipated Sangley Point airport project is set to start sometime in 2016, before the term of President Noynoy Aquino ends. This $10-billion project to putting up a new airport in Cavite aims to solve the congestion problem at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Parañaque City.

In a press statement this Thursday, Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Emilio “Jun” Abaya said that the proposal of building a new airport is one step closer to reality. This is after the study of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has been completed.

The Transportation secretary said that it is one of the priority projects of PNoy before his term ends.

“We (DOTC) are very optimistic that this project will be approved by NEDA (National Economic and Development Authority) earlier than expected. We are happy to announce that JICA informed us that their study is now for finalization and will be available soon.” The Transportation secretary said.

“We are assuring the public that Sangley Point airport is a solid solution for OFWs. This is also a big leap in promoting tourism and can attract foreign investors.” Abaya added, noting that it one of the priority projects of President Noynoy Aquino before the May 2016 presidential election.

Sangley Point, being a former naval station of the US Navy, is located in Cavite City and is now called Danilo Atienza Air Base of the Philippine Air Force. Without the traffic, the estimated travel time from Makati City to Sangley Point is only 20 minutes.

This Sangley Point airport project was recommended by JICA, which dubbed it as the most feasible location to replace NAIA. Having a target date of completion in 2015, Abaya said that NAIA will continue to operate and will be upgraded to serve as temporary solution to the growing number of flights every year.

Earlier this month, House Committee on Transportation Chairman and Catanduanes Rep. Cesar V. Sarmiento made on ocular inspection at the NAIA Terminal 3. Sarmiento was accompanied by Rep. Al Francis Bichara, the vice chairman of the said committee.

The said inspection, which was attended by Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Deputy Director General for Operations Rodante Joya, is part of the DOTC’s proposal to build a new airport terminal. The so-called “Terminal 5” replaced the earlier proposal of building a new NAIA runway.

According to Joya, this new NAIA terminal project is much cheaper than building a third runway, and can help a lot in decongesting the current NAIA terminal network. The CAAP executive said that the proposed runway will affect many residential areas such as Merville Subdivision, and may cause bigger problems.

NAIA (Terminal 1) has been voted on The Guide to Sleeping in Airports, an online travel website, as Asia’s Worst Airport in 2012, and the World’s Worst Airport in 2012 and 2013. In 2010, it landed on the 5th spot on the survey from the same site, and on the 4th spot last year, 2014.

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