How Ramon Ang plans to solve NAIA woes

From a report by Ces Oreña-Drilon, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 16 2014 09:28 PM | Updated as of May 17 2014 09:58 PM

MANILA – Government has agreed to construct another runway at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to decongest flights at the airport.

A meeting was held in Malacanang wherein San Miguel and Philippine Airlines president Ramon Ang presented his proposed solutions to President Benigno Aquino.

“[This] can handle practically everything including an Airbus 3. That’s an interim solution which I think can handle the capacity for the next five to seven years, and this is a good opportunity at no cost to the Philippine government. If implemented, it can immediately address the congestion problem in our country in the next three years,” said Ang.

Transportation Secretary Jun Abaya confirmed that the proposal to build a new runway has been approved, but the details have yet to be ironed out.

Ang is also proposing to purchase a more modern navigation system called Ground Base Augmented Systems (G-Bus).

“It’s a navigational base that can increase the take-off and landing capacity of the existing airport by 25 percent,” said Ang.

Abaya said this proposal will be taken up with the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines.

The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) has funds to improve its systems through terminal fees collected from passengers.

In the P550 terminal fee, P100 go to the national government, P60 go to the Office of Transport Security of the Department of Transportation and Communications, and the remaining P390 go to MIAA.

An estimated P1.5 billion to P2 billion were collected in terminal fees last year.

But the more permanent and long-term solution would be the construction of a bigger airport beside Manila Bay, which will be big enough to have four runways.

According to Ang's proposal, it will be built on a reclamation area owned by CyberBay.

At $10 billion, it would be more than six times bigger than the government's biggest unsolicited project, the P65 billion LRT 1 Extension. And at 750 hectares, it would be bigger than two municipalities, San Juan and Pateros.

The proposed airport has the capacity to serve 75 million to 100 million passengers every year.

While the current NAIA capacity can only accommodate 40 planes per hour, the proposed airport can handle 250 planes.

“This is a good solution for our country that can bring in more tourists. It’s for our country, not just for me, but for our country to have a good face,” said Ang.

Ang said the government should hold a bidding for this project, and he is ready to let go of his control over PAL to be able to participate.

He added that his group is willing to invite local partners such as SM and Ayala Corp., two of the country's biggest conglomerates, to join the project.