“I will finish the dry run in seven days. After seven days, it (airport) must be operational as an ideal entity,” Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade said during a press conference on October 29. He added that a formal inauguration will be held “in the coming days” to formalize the opening of Sangley Airport.
The new airport will initially be ready to accommodate general aviation and cargo operations.
Cavite governor Juanito Victor “Jonvic” Remulla, Jr. said: “The transformation from a moribund facility to a first-class facility for cargo and eventually for passengers is a big development for our province.”
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said that only “a few finishing works” remain to be completed before the new aviation hub becomes fully operational. Sangley Airport currently has a passenger terminal building that can cater to 160 passengers at any given time; two hangars; Flight Information Display Systems; parking area; drainage system; access road; power house; cistern tank; CCTV; baggage carousel; x-ray machines; weighing conveyor; fire trucks; and more.
For accessibility, DOTr said a full ferry service between Sangley and Pasay is being made available to passengers. The Philippine Ports Authority has set up a temporary ferry terminal at a Coast Guard wharf near the airport. The ferry trip will last less than 15 minutes.
A point-to-point bus service will also be available to provide additional accessibility to Sangley Airport. It will serve two routes, namely, Sangley to Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), and Sangley to the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange.
Furthermore, DOTr and the Department of Public Works and Highways are jointly planning access roads, while “water jeepneys” are proposed to start operating by December, with a planned route from Cavite to Divisoria.
Interested bidders for expansion
Meanwhile, Remulla said that at least six firms have shown interest in the provincial government’s initiative to expand Sangley airport into an international gateway.
The governor said copies of bid documents have been secured by Metro Pacific Investments Corporation, DM Consunji, Inc., and China Construction Corporation.
“I forgot the others but so far they are big groups. Ayala called me and they want to secure a copy also. SM group has signified [interest] but they haven’t got a copy,” Remulla told media.
The provincial government of Cavite early this month announced it would seek joint venture (JV) proposals for the Sangley Point International Airport Project, which is estimated to cost US$10 billion.
The 1,500-hectare international airport development will be implemented as a commercial JV arrangement between the provincial government and the selected JV partner. The latter will be responsible for co-developing the project, providing the necessary equity investment and credit enhancements and, subject to a further competitive process or price test, will perform engineering, procurement and construction services for the land and airport development components of the project.
In addition to the legal, technical and financial qualifications set by the Cavite government, the selected JV partner must also pass the credit standards of the project lenders.
Qualified firms are given until November 25 to submit their JV proposals.
The airport hub, which is being positioned as an alternative to the congested NAIA and as the next big thing in air transport innovation in the country, will feature four runways as well as airside and landside facilities. The airport aims to be on a par with Singapore’s Changi International Airport, Hong Kong International Airport, and South Korea’s Incheon International Airport.
The project’s first phase is slated for completion in 2022 and is expected to accommodate 75 million passengers yearly. The second phase of development has a target completion of 2028. The airport can accommodate up to 130 million passengers annually once fully completed.