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Sangley airport to be built

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Officials of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) plan to present to the country’s main economic planning body a proposal to build a US$10-billion international airport in Sangley Point, Cavite, by the third quarter of 2015.

The new air gateway, which the government said could be finished by 2025, aims to replace Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), which has limited expansion options and suffering from heavy congestion.

Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya said the DOTC planned to move forward with the new airport once the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) provides the final study.

A JICA representative said the study could take more time but Secretary Abaya said the department is keeping an earlier-announced schedule.

A presentation by the DOTC shows that the department plans to submit the Sangley proposal to the National Economic and Development Authority Investment Coordination Committee in the third quarter of the year.

The new Sangley airport, estimated by JICA to have a development cost of PhP435.9 billion, is deemed crucial in meeting the capital region’s passenger demand, seen to more than triple to 101.4 million in 2040 from 31.9 million in 2012.

The Sangley International Airport would be able handle about 55 million passengers per year when it opens in 2025, which together with the existing NAIA in Manila would be enough to meet the area’s estimated demand of 59.1 million, JICA said.