Several domestic flights from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila will soon be transferred to Sangley Point Air Base in Cavite to ease airport congestion at NAIA. Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte agreed with the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to utilize the Sangley Point for general aviation domestic flights to help decongest NAIA.
General aviation flight is a term for non-commercial civil aviation operations that cover charter, corporate, military and pilot training flights. According to Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), the average number of general aviation flights flying out of NAIA monthly is at 3,000, comprised of 1,500 fixed wing aircraft and 1,500 helicopter-type aircraft. The government, however, is not closed to the possibility of opening it for commercial civil aviation flights especially, with a pending USD 10 billion proposal from the provincial government of Cavite to add runways to Sangley.
Sangley Point is a former US naval facility that was turned over to the Philippine Navy and Philippine Air Force. The DOTr presented its plan for the facility during the 38th Cabinet meeting in Malacañang Palace. The president then immediately directed to start the development of Sangley Point.
During the same cabinet meeting, the president expressed dismay after his surprise inspection at the NAIA Terminal 2 and he also hinted at a revamping on the organization.
DOTr’s timeline for the facility to be operational is by December 2019. The runway is already finished and DOTr is currently working on the passenger terminal, ramp and drainage. Testing of ferries has been initiated that can operate from Mall of Asia (MOA) in Pasay City to Sangley within 18 to 24 minutes.
(Sources: BusinessWorld; Philippine News Agency; Philippine Daily Inquirer)