The Department of Transportation and Communication has just spoken: the new Manila International Airport will be built in Sangley Point in Cavite City.
This announcement came on the heels of the recently-released report of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) which recommended that the new airport be built in the area, something the Urban Roamer has touched upon in a recent post. And it seems the DOTC is intent on following that particular recommendation.
Tough luck it would seem now for San Miguel Corporation (SMC) and its airport it’s trying to build on reclaimed land in Manila Bay, though if we are to believe the news, there has been some doubt as to feasibility of San Miguel’s airport plans since they did not make a full and proper presentation of its proposal to the DOTC’s Planning Department.
Your guess is as good as mine as to the reasons SMC got cold feet after the grandiose proposal it presented. Or maybe it has shifted its interest on the Sangley one instead? That we shall have to wait and see.
Going back to the topic at hand, now that Sangley Point has been chosen as the site of the new Manila airport, the next step would be the completion of the studies JICA is currently conducting on the area as to how it will be developed and what infrastructure would be needed. That being said, reclamation is being seen to further develop the area that will accommodate Manila’s new international gateway.
While the question of who will build the airport and the funding is yet to be answered, that did not stop one of the possible contenders for the project to release a video online about their vision for this new gateway.
Then there is the question of what will become of what was supposed to be the new international gateway, the Clark International Airport north of Manila. At this point, it seems government is still keen on developing Clark but as a secondary gateway to Manila.
As for the current NAIA, unless plans change in the future, the plan is to shut it down once the new airport is operational. This would open NAIA up to potential investors as a prime property for development. But I hope it could be developed in a way that it would serve as a vast open green space that will serve as the metropolis’ new green lungs, something Metro Manila is sorely lacking of right now.
But as was mentioned, all of these remain as plans for now. We can only hope that this new development will lead to better things ahead for the metropolis and these plans somehow come into fruition.
Most importantly, we hope our policymakers do not screw this up this time, though it will not be taken against you if you choose not to hold your breath on that one.
With a report from the Manila Bulletin