CAVITE GOVERNOR Juanito Victor C. Remulla on Tuesday said five Philippine companies and one Chinese firm have expressed interest in expanding Sangley Airport, upgrading it to international gateway status.
“The last time I heard there are six. Five local (companies) and one foreign,” Mr. Remulla told reporters on the sidelines of a Sangley Airport inspection Tuesday, referring to parties that have obtained bid documents for the next phase of the airport upgrade project.
He identified some of the interested parties as Metro Pacific Investments Corp., DM Consuji, and China Construction Co.
Mr. Remulla added: “I forgot the others, but so far they are the big groups. Ayala called me and they want to secure a copy also. SM group has signified (interest), but they haven’t gotten a copy.”
He said the deadline for picking up bid documents is Nov. 11. “After that they will submit their tender on Nov. 25,” he added.
The decision, according to Mr. Remulla, will be announced by “end of November.”
Mr. Remulla broke down project costs as follows: “The reclamation component will be at least $3 billion, and then the airport itself including the runway, the avionics and the terminal will cost another $7 billion, so mga $10 billion ang cost na ‘yan (it will cost about $10 billion in total).”
Before it was repurposed for general aviation, Sangley was formally known as Danila Atienza Air Base. Its location on Sangley Point, a narrow peninsula which has been a naval facility since Spanish times, means it is surrounded by navigable waters which will require extensive reclamation.
The project has been structured to isolate the costly reclamation portion from the airport-building component, and to ease compliance with procurement rules.
“Ang joint venture kasi ng province (the joint venture Cavite province is offering) will have a land company, we will reclaim the land and then there will be an airport company who will put up the airport,” he said.
“So two separate companies (because) we don’t want to be part of the procurement process as a company because of government regulations… Ang guarantee namin (We guarantee that the) government will not be part of the procurement process, hindi kami makikialam sa kanila (we’ll be hands-off),” he added.
The expanded airport will have four runways and will be able to handle 100 million passengers a year, he said.
As for the timeline, he said: “The groundbreaking is on Jan. 15. The first runway will be completed in three years and then the fourth runway we plan (to be up and running) in six years.”
Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade and Mr. Remulla witnessed what was billed as an “operational dry run” at Sangley Airport yesterday.
Mr. Tugade said another such exercise will be concluded “in seven days.”
“After which an inauguration will be held in the coming days to formalize the opening of the Sangley Airport,” the Department of Transportation (DoTr) said in a statement.
DoTr officials said during a briefing on Tuesday that the new airport will have “turbo-prop as the maximum aircraft that will operate in Sangley.”
The airport’s runway will serve as the “third runway” of Ninoy Aquino International Airport with a maximum capacity of 20 movements per hour, referring to both landings and take-offs, the DoTr said. — Arjay L. Balinbin
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