San Pedro: $500-M airport, but where?-A A +A
Check and Balance
Monday, September 3, 2012
PHILIPPINE Airlines president Ramon S. Ang has announced that they will build a $500-million airport that will sit on a 2,000 plus hectare property. Ang left everybody in the woods as to where this airport which he said will only be 15 minutes away from Metro Manila will be located.
Will it be in Binangonan, Rizal? Travelers from Central and Northern Luzon will not go as far as Binangonan, Rizal just to catch their respective flights because that will mean passing through the monstrous traffic that is prevalent in Metro Manila. Will it be in Sangley Point, Cavite? I hope not. Taking a flight out of NAIA is already horrendous and taking the airport further South is a no-brainer. Will it be in San Jose City, Bulacan which is closer to Manila and the rest of the provinces in Central Luzon and Northern Luzon? Bulacan aside from being flood-prone will not be accessible to residents of Southern Luzon. I am sure the travelers would not want to swim in floodwaters when taking their local and international flights.
Says former transportation czar Mar Roxas: Sangley Point is not a viable alternative airport. Both the area in Rizal and Sangley would entail the reclamation of land in the coastal area.
The PAL executive said the $500-million airport will have four runways against Clark airport’s existing two runways built by the Americans. He said that he will present this grand plan to President Aquino early next year. It is crystal clear that Ang does not support the development of Clark airport with his announcement.
Clark is still “the long-term alternative,” according to Roxas with its 2,367 hectares which is four times larger than NAIA. Clark International Airport Corporation President and CEO Victor Jose I. Luciano said that CIAC is targeting at least 1.5 million passengers before the end of 2012 due to the increasing number of flights in the Clark airport.
“There have been an exponential growth of passengers especially in the domestic front were we obtained a 336 percent increase from January to May alone compared to the previous year,” said Luciano noting that international passenger volume increased to 725,023 in 2011 compared to 607,704 passengers in 2010, or a difference of 117,319 representing a 19-percent increase in international passengers.
The CIAC is also fast-tracking the construction of the P360-million Phase II project expansion of the Clark Terminal Building to increase capacity from 2 million passengers annually to 5 million.
Clark is up for grabs and ready to join the big league in the aviation industry. The sites in Binangonan, Rizal; Sangley Point with its one-runway system and Bulacan are not feasible. Only Clark has the edge and we will continue to support the development of Clark with or without PAL.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on September 04, 2012.