The Department of Transportation (DOTr) aims to complete the rehabilitation and development of Sangley airport in Sangley Point, San Antonio, Cavite by the third quarter of 2019, the upgrade seen to help decongest Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
Of the 2,300-meter runway to be constructed, only 400 meters still needs to be completed, Capt. Manuel Antonio Tamayo, transport undersecretary for aviation and airports, said in a recent interview with reporters.
Aside from the runway, vertical structures such as a control tower and hangars will be built. The airport will also be night- and instrument-rated, Tamayo noted.
DOTr in late 2016 called for interested bidders to undertake its Sangley Airport development project, which is seen to alleviate air overcrowding at NAIA, the country’s main air hub. Unimasters Conglomeration, Inc. won the contract for the project in December 2017 with a bid of P486.107 million.
Phase 1 of the project includes rehabilitation of the existing 2.4-kilometer runway; construction of the ramp and drainage system; construction of four hangars with a floor area of 1,600 square meters each; and building of an 800-square-meter passenger terminal building with offices, vehicular parking area, and other facilities.
Tamayo said that once the project is completed, the former US naval facility will be operated by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines and will be home mostly to general aviation and some commercial operations. He noted that the transfer of general aviation to Sangley airport will reduce traffic at NAIA as commercial aircraft will no longer have to share slots with general aviation.
The project will continue even if the unsolicited proposal to develop a new airport at Sangley pushes through, Tamayo noted.
Sangley Airport Infrastructure Group, Inc., comprised of All-Asia Resources and Reclamation Corp. and Belle Corp., has submitted a US$12 billion unsolicited proposal to develop a new airport with a 50-year concession period on a 2,500-hectare site at Sangley Point.
However, the national government is prioritizing the Cavite government’s similarly unsolicited P552.018-billion proposal to develop an international airport at Sangley Point.
The provincial government’s proposal, submitted in February 2018, involves the planning, financing, design, construction, development, operation, maintenance, and management of a new international airport at Sangley Point to be implemented in two phases: a first phase costing around P208.487 billion and a second phase with a P343.531 billion cost.
The proposal also includes all supporting road networks, infrastructure facilities, and basic services, with land reclamation as the physical development platform or enabling component.
But DOTr, in a legal review last June, recommended that the Cavite government refine its proposal, as the draft memorandum of agreement the local government submitted had no details on obligations and responsibilities. DOTr recommended defining the description or scope of the project, identifying the source of funds or financing scheme, and demonstrating the local government’s technical capability.
DOTr is still waiting for the additional submissions from the Cavite government, Tamayo said.