Duterte wants Sangley airport ops soon, transfer of domestic flights eyed

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 11 2019 10:37 AM | Updated as of Jun 11 2019 11:26 AM

President Rodrigo Duterte presides over the 38th Cabinet Meeting at the Malacañang Palace on June 10, 2019. Simeon Celi Jr., Presidential Photo

MANILA- President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered to “immediately” start operations at the Sangley airport in Cavite to help decongest the capital's main airport.

The order was given during a Cabinet meeting Monday night following the President’s surprise inspection at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport amid reports of flight delays and cancellations.

“The President directed the operations in Sangley Point to start immediately,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Tuesday.

Duterte was dismayed at the conditions at the NAIA, which operates four terminals, and hinted at its revamp, he said.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said the initial plan was to transfer domestic flights to the Cavite airport.

A draft executive order will be presented to the President on the matter, Panelo said.

Panelo said Tugade already tested ferries that could transport passengers from the Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City to Sangley within 18 to 24 minutes.

On security concerns on the Cavite gateway, Panelo said President Duterte prefers that a single entity take charge either from the military or a civilian body.

A group led by the late billionaire Henry Sy and media magnate Wilson Tieng had earlier offered to build a new airport in Sangley Point, Cavite at the cost of $12 billion.

Tugade had expressed openness to unsolicited proposals from business groups for new airports and seaports.