MANILA – The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has been requested to determine the feasible location of a new airport to possibly de-congest or replace the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said on Thursday.
“This early, we have requested JICA to do a study for a NAIA replacement airport. The basic parameter is that it should be 20 minutes away from the metropolis,” Abaya said.
Abaya said JICA will help in determining a feasible location immediately, as building a new facility may take at least 10 years.
“One good example is Sangley in Cavite. That is only one of the areas being considered, there are other areas. It should be determined right away so we can start the construction. It takes maybe 10 years to build an airport,” he said.
Abaya added that the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) has presented options to President Aquino in an effort to free up or replace the congested NAIA.
One of the options involves developing the Clark International Airport in Pampanga, maximizing NAIA’s runway and terminal capacity, and building a new airport to replace NAIA.
The option also includes the closure and the sale of NAIA.
“We are going up to the President to get a final decision. We are now master planning Clark. We will invest in Clark but we won’t put all our eggs in Clark. But we will make sure that we will stunt the growth in Clark. In NAIA, we will maximize runway capacity and terminal capacity and eventually we will hit a ceiling in NAIA either in 2018 or 2020,” said Abaya.
The government began adopting a dual airport system in May by upgrading NAIA and developing the airport in Clark while building an alternate international gateway within Metro Manila.
A P360 million project to expand Clark airport’s existing terminal is ongoing. The Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) is also set to construct a P7.2 billion budget terminal.
Over P1 billion is being spent by the Aquino administration to rehabilitate the NAIA Terminal 1.
Another P1.9 billion is allocated to complete the retrofitting of NAIA Terminal 3 in time for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting next year.