MANILA - (UPDATE) A cargo plane from Cebu Pacific subsidiary CebGo landed on the newly refurbished Sangley Airport in Cavite as transportation officials held a dry run of the facility on Tuesday.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade led a tour of Sangley Airport, which government is rehabilitating to help decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the country's main gateway in Pasay City.
Cebu Pacific, however, said it has no immediate plans to mount commercial flights from Sangley Airport as it still needs to study if there is a market for this.
“If it can handle the passenger flow, of course we will study it and make sure there is a market in place,” said CebGo chief operating officer Alex Reyes.
Reyes added that CebGo will add another turboprop cargo plane to its fleet next year, which the company also intends to base in Sangley.
"This will become the hub and the base for the 2 turboprop freighters that we will have in our fleet in 2020," Reyes said.
Last June, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered transportation officials to rehabilitate Sangley within 5 months so that it could help decongest NAIA.
Sangley, however, is expected to cater to general aviation, which use mostly smaller planes, business jets and turboprop airplanes as the airport's runway and other facilities still need to be upgraded before it can accommodate larger planes.
Despite this, Tugade said he was confident that Sangley will help decongest the capital's main gateway.
"Pag nawala po yung general aviation sa NAIA, makakatulong po yun," Tugade said.
Tugade said a regular ferry service will be provided for passengers of airlines that will use Sangley. He said the ferry trip would be short.
"Magbuhat dun sa pinaggalingan natin, sa CCP papunta rito, [it took] less than 12 minutes. Ito ho using the ferry," Tugade said.
(From where we came, the CCP to here, it took less than 12 minutes. This was using the ferry.)
Sangley will also be accessible through a point-to-point bus system and via Cavitex, Tugade added.
The airport's passenger terminal has been equipped with CCTVs, Xray, baggage handling, airconditioning units, and a weighing conveyor. It can accommodate 160 people at a given time.
- Report from Jacque Manabat, ABS-CBN News