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Sangley Point inaugurated; seen as another NAIA alternative

Aviation Updates Philippines – President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, together with transportation and aviation officials, officially inaugurated the Sangley Point Airport (IATA: SGL) on Saturday, February 15. Interestingly, the government also unveiled the proposed master-plan for the development of Sangley, which presents itself as a solution to Manila's airport congestion woes.
NEW AIRPORT. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte inaugurates Sangley Airport, Cavite.
President Duterte joined Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Director General Jim Sydiongco, Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla, and Senator Christopher Lawrence Go in unveiling the airport's momentous marker.

The head of state, during his speech, urged the Filipino people to "use the airport properly" to benefit the future generations to come. Mr. Duterte also emphasized that during his last flight as the country's chief, he will board a flight to Davao in Sangley.

Previously designated as an exclusive military installation, Sangley Point is now a contender for the replacement of the highly congested airport in Metro Manila. The program is part of the present administration's talked-about "Build, Build, Build' program.

As of the moment, Cebgo Cargo has gradually rolled out operations from the new airport on-board the ATR 72-500 Freighter. General aviation flights and light cargo aircraft, although some have already started operating in the area, are encouraged to use the airport instead to decongest the capital airport.

Transportation officials had already conducted an operational dry run for Sangley Point in October—a few months ahead of the inauguration. The department boasted its commendable efforts in finishing the terminal building a few months before Duterte's deadline.

During the inauguration program, the government previewed a video presentation promoting the proposed 1,500-hectare Sangley Airport Development Project (SADP), which surprisingly featured a planned construction in mostly reclaimed land with up to four runways. The project also includes the development of a passenger terminal building capable of handling about 100 million passengers annually.
SANGLEY AIRPORT DEVELOPMENT PROJECT. The 550 billion airport project is one of the biggest aviation programs in the Philippines.
According to a report by Miguel Camus from Inquirer.net, the China Communications Construction Company, Ltd. and MacroAsia Corporation joint venture, which turned out as the sole bidders, has officially bagged the project worth P208.5 billion for the Phase 1 of the P550 billion development.

Meanwhile, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) approved last year the P102 billion build-operate-transfer of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in a move to massively rehabilitate, operate, and maintain the country's main gateway in 15 years.

The NAIA Consortium is composed of seven big-ticket companies: Aboitiz InfraCapital Incorporated, AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation, Alliance Global Group Incorporated, Asia's Emerging Dragon Corporation, Filinvest Development Corporation, JG Summit Holdings Incorporated, and Metro Pacific Investments Corporation.

Similarly, NEDA also approved the P736 billion construction of the New Manila International Airport in Bulacan, with Ramon Ang's San Miguel Corporation (SMC) spearheading the program. The project, supposedly scheduled to break ground last month, was hit with a series of delays and several issues, mostly regarding environmental and economic matters.

With the two international airports and a rehabilitation program for NAIA already approved by the Philippine government, which one would prosper? Given that these two projects (excluding the 15-year 'lifeline' program of the NAIA Consortium) will be able to operate independently as the Philippines' new capital airport, it would surely not be practical to have two because all serve the greater area of Metro Manila.

Are we somehow aiming for the likes of Haneda and Narita, or Gimpo and Incheon?

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