Japan International Cooperation Agency has scrapped a proposal to construct a $13-billion international airport in Manila Bay after state-run Philippine Ports Authority opposed the plan.
The central part of Manila Bay is one of the potential sites recommended by Jica for a new international gateway, which is designed to replace the congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City and Parañaque City. The Philippine government asked Jica to draw up the feasibility study for a new airport.
Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said Jica had decided to drop central Manila Bay as one of the potential locations for the new international airport because of the objection made by PPA.
Abaya said PPA argued that an international airport could obstruct the shipping flow in the area.
Abaya, a former congressman representing Cavite, said Jica was now looking at Sangley Point in Cavite and Laguna de Bay as potential locations for the new international airport.
“The whole feasibility for the new international airport would be completed in 18 months,” Abaya said.
The government wants to build a new international airport that is 25 to 30 minutes away from Naia, which is expected to reach its full capacity soon.
Jica said Naia would hit overcapacity this year, when the airport would handle 37.78 million passengers. By 2040, passenger traffic would reach 101.49 million.
Naia accommodated 36.68 million passengers in 2015, exceeding the 30 million yearly optimal capacity of the terminal. Its maximum handling capacity stands at 35 million passengers a year.
San Miguel Corp., which used to operate Philippine Airlines, earlier proposed to build a new international airport at a reclaimed area along the Manila-CaviteCoastal Road for $10 billion. San Miguel returned the control of PAL to tycoon Lucio Tan.
The proposed airport would have an international and domestic passenger handling capacity of 75 million passengers a year, with scalability to accommodate more than 100 million passengers.
It would be only 11 minutes away from the Makati central business district via a new airport expressway.
The government also plans to offer to private investor Naia’s operations and maintenance contract as well as as its redevelopment.
Naia redevelopment includes the augmentation of the air- and land-side facilities to accommodate the expected rise in passenger traffic.