Group submits new bid for regional airport hub

ANOTHER group has officially pitched in a $12-billion unsolicited proposal to solve the airport-congestion problems in Metro Manila, promising to deliver a new “aerotropolis” that will compete for traffic with air hubs in Asia.

The proposal, submitted by Sangley Airport Infrastructure Group Inc., involves the development of the Philippine Sangley International Airport (PSIA), which is envisioned to be a regional airport hub that can accommodate about 120 million passengers every year once fully developed.

Led by Solar Group’s All-Asia Resources and Reclamation Corp. (ARRC) and the Sy family’s Belle Corp., the company proposed to create a new air metropolis that involves the reclamation of about 2,500 hectares of land, the rehabilitation of the Danilo Atienza Air Base and the construction of the PSIA.

Under the proposal, the group intends to reclaim 500 hectares of land north of the Sangley peninsula, which will be used for the development of airport infrastructure and a commercial establishment to complement the project.

The Danilo Atienza Air Base, according to the group, will be rehabilitated to accommodate general aviation movements, thus reducing congestion at the decades-old Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) during its development.

“Upon inauguration, the Danilo Atienza Air Base area will be transformed into an aerotropolis district, where service buildings, office towers, hotels, conference centers and other related developments would be established,” the group said in a statement.

The PSIA will be designed with two parallel independent runways and sufficient airside and terminal capacity to accommodate future demand for domestic, international and transfer traffic, “not only for the Philippines but for all Southeast Asia.”

“The new airport hub is also envisioned to compete with other premier Southeast Asia airports like the ones in Bangkok, Seoul, Hong Kong and Singapore,” the group said.

Its design is “optimized” in relation to wind conditions and obstacle limitation surfaces  zones.

The new airport will also reduce restrictions on land in Metro Manila while also operating with a significantly reduced noise impact than the Naia due to its new location off Manila Bay.

The proposed concession period is 50 years.

“The project supports the government’s multi-airport strategy as it complements other airport infrastructure projects of the government such as Clark International Airport,” the group said.

Given its design, the airport is also envisioned to “put the Philippines on a par with other progressive countries in Asia in terms of airport infrastructure as it allows an expansion of both runway and terminal capacity with lesser constraints.”

The project will be conducted at no cost to the government and is seen to open a new regional gateway that can accommodate “millions of passengers and significantly help increase tourist arrivals.”

Aside from this, there are several unsolicited proposals that the government received for the development of airports in Metro Manila.

San Miguel Corp., for instance, proposed to build a $15-billion airport in Bulacan. It received the original proponent status for the said offer recently.

This proposed airport is seen to replace the Naia.

Two other proposals, on the other hand, involve the redevelopment of the Naia.

One group, called the Naia Consortium, proposed to spend P350 billion to develop the decades-old air hub over a period of 35 years.

Megawide Construction Corp., on the other hand, offered to spend about $3 billion to rehabilitate, modernize and expand the decades-old airport over a period of 18 years.

Turning Points 2018
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