Offshore airport near Sangley Point eyed

By Louella D. Desiderio, The Philippine Star

Posted at Sep 13 2012 08:04 AM | Updated as of Sep 13 2012 08:49 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The developer of Aseana City, located along the coastal waters of Manila Bay, is planning to come up with a feasibility study to reclaim an area for an offshore airport given the expected further congestion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) with the development of Aseana City and opening of the Entertainment City.

Speaking at the Asia CEO Forum held yesterday, Aseana Holdings, Inc. chairman Delfin Wenceslao Jr., said they would like to conduct a feasibility study to reclaim an area for an offshore airport that would cater to the expected increase in traffic with the ongoing developments both in Aseana City and the Entertainment City.

The airport would be two kilometers off the shore of Sangley Point in Cavite.

Wenceslao said that before starting the feasibility study for the project though, the company would want to get the government’s support first.

“Before I spend (for the study), I want to get a mandate,” he said.

He said that if the company pursues the feasibility study without government mandate, it has no assurance the money spent for the study could be recovered when it loses to another firm after the plan is subject to a Swiss challenge since it is an unsolicited proposal.

Two years ago, he said the company already conducted a study to look into whether the construction of an offshore airport would be viable.

“Based on our study, it is viable technically. The question now is, is it financially viable? That is what we are trying to find out,” he said

With an off-shore airport, he said, all that would be needed is to build a coastway that would link to the Sangley area which would then lead to Aseana City.

“Aseana is a nice location. (From there) it would take only 10 minutes to get to the off-shore airport,” he said.

Philippine Airlines (PAL) president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang said last month the flag carrier plans to build an international airport to be situated in a 2,000-hectare property near Manila, which would have a modern passenger terminal and four runways, and would co-exist with the NAIA.

PAL intends to put forward the proposal to Malacañang either by January to February next year.

Given the congestion in NAIA, the government is looking at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Clark in Pampanga as the new main gateway of the country.

Making the Clark airport the main gateway however, requires a fast rail access to Metro Manila.

The Aseana City is being developed as a mixed use land area. It is located just across the Entertainment City which is being developed as an integrated resort, leisure and entertainment complex that would provide investment opportunities and world-class tourist attractions in the country.

Wenceslao said Bit Micro, an information technology company set-up by a Filipino-American, is planning to put a school for specialized design in Aseana City.

He also said Tune Hotels is looking to open a budget hotel in Aseana City.