New airport to cost $6B

Posted at 09/29/12 10:19 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Proponents of the proposed international airport within Metro Manila would have to shell out between $5 billion and $6 billion in order to decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

Ramon S. Ang, president and chief operating officer of dominant carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) and president of diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC), told reporters yesterday that the proponents of the airport project would have to infuse equity of between $1 billion and $2 billion.

SMC and PAL chairman and chief executive officer Lucio Tan is considering building a new major airport that would serve as the country’s main gateway.

“We advise that the company and the Lucio Tan Group are jointly evaluating the possibility of constructing an airport which will serve as the country’s main gateway,” SMC earlier disclosed to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE).

Ang said he would push through with the presentation of the proposed international airport to President Aquino for approval in January.

It would be recalled that Ang announced late last month that PAL is contemplating on putting up a new international airport 15 minutes away from Manila as it undertakes a massive re-fleeting program that involves the acquisition of 100 aircraft.

He earlier told reporters that the proposed international airport would be situated in a 2,000-hectare property and would boast of a modern passenger terminal and four runways.

With two initial runways, he explained that the proposed international airports could handle 1,500 events (landing and take-off) per day putting the Philippines at par with the airports in Sydney, Australia as well as Heathrow in London.

PAL currently exclusively occupies the government-run NAIA Terminal 2 also known as the Centennial Terminal while Cebu Air Inc. (Cebu Pacific) of John Gokongwei and other airlines operate at the NAIA Terminal 1 and NAIA Terminal 3.

Furthermore, he said the proposed airport would be accessible via elevated six-lane highways and would also feature hotels, malls, and other facilities.

The proposed international airport would co-exist with the congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). The NAIA was voted as the world’s worst airport by the interactive website “The Guide to Sleeping in Airports.”

The government has been pursuing the development of the Clark International Airport to shift traffic away from the congested NAIA in Manila.