By Emmie V. Abadilla
The proposed Sangley Point International Airport in Cavite is not on the back burner, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said.
Transportation Undersecretary Ruben Reinoso said the proposed P552.08 billion international airport in the military base can still materialize as long as the local government of Cavite can get its act together.
“It’s still on the table. Its approval really depends on how soon the provincial government of Cavite [will act on their proposal],” said Reinoso, who is in-charge of DOTr’s planning and project development cluster.
Sangley Airport Infrastructure Group, Inc., a consortium composed of private companies, earlier submitted an unsolicited proposal to build the Philippine Sangley International Airport (PSIA) for $12 billion with a concession period of 50 years.
The consortium includes the Solar Group’s All-Asia Resources and Reclamation Corp. and the Sy family’s Belle Corp.
The proposed regional airport hub could accommodate about 120 million passengers a year once fully developed.
The proponent plans to start with the reclamation of about 2,500 hectares of land north of the Sangley peninsula to develop the airport infrastructure along with a commercial establishment to complement the project.
The scheme also includes the development of airside and landside facilities and transportation infrastructure to service the passengers and ensure the accessibility of PSIA.
The plan also covers the rehabilitation of the Danilo Atienza Air Base, later to be used as a general aviation airport to decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) terminals during the project development phase.
Upon inauguration, the Danilo Atienza Air Base area will be transformed into an “aerotropolis” district where service buildings, office towers, hotels, conference centers and other related developments will be established.
The proposed airport will be designed with two parallel independent runways and sufficient airside and terminal capacity to accommodate future demand for domestic, international and transfer traffic, not only for the Philippines but for Southeast Asia.
The new airport hub is also envisioned to compete with other premier Southeast Asia airports such as the ones in Bangkok, Seoul, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Problem was, the project got entangled in technical and financial issues.
To date, the provincial government of Cavite has not informed the DOTr what legal framework they will use to develop Sangley Point into an international airport, Reinoso pointed out.
Last June 15, the legal department of DOTr issued a memorandum asking the department to refrain from signing an agreement with the Cavite provincial government on the proposed international airport.