DOTC Identifies Possible Locations for New Manila International Airport

A report in the Philippine Star has revealed that the Department of Transportation and Communications is considering two separate locations as the possible site of what will be a new international gateway to replace Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

naia replacement
Image Source: ovbroncopilot/Philippine Defense Forum
According to Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya, the Japan International Cooperation Agency is evaluating sites at Sangley Point in Cavite and Laguna de Bay. Sangley Point is a former US naval base while Laguna de Bay is the nation's largest lake.

"Our initial feedback is that the Japan International Cooperation Agency is looking at Sangley because it is within the 20-minute parameter and is accessible," said Abaya. "One could also be Laguna de Bay." He added that both locations would require massive reclamation as the new international airport would require a minimum of 2,000 hectares. "Maybe initially you can get 1,000 hectares but for 2,000 hectares that is 20 minutes away from Manila is impossible," added Abaya. "It is very difficult to look for a place that big."

Abaya indicated that the project may become a public-private partnership as the government is trying to avoid unsolicited proposals. "Interested investors could join the bidding. But unsolicited proposals won't happen," said Abaya. Last year, All-Asia Resources and Reclamation Corporation proposed the redevelopment of Sangley Point as a major international airport and seaport.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency was tapped to conduct the site selection study for the new international gateway that is part of a long-term development plan that is expected to commence and be completed in fifteen to twenty years. The Department of Transportation and Communications has advocated for the completion of a new international airport by 2027 that will be jointly developed alongside Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay and Clark International Airport in Pampanga. 

According to a Japan International Cooperation Study, it is estimated that the number of passengers in the National Capital Region is expected to reach 106.7 million by 2040. That is more than triple the current 31.88 million reached in 2012. 

The government has been working with two primary options to address the growing traffic volumes that include the expansion of Clark International Airport and the development of a new international airport within 30 minutes of Metro Manila. In both options, the government plans to construct a new international airport. However, the options differ in terms of what should happen to Ninoy Aquino International Airport. 

In the first option, NAIA would close by 2030 once the new international airport is operational in 2027. The new airport would handle approximately 78 percent of passenger traffic while Clark International Airport would shoulder 22 percent. In the second option, NAIA would continue to operate even after the new international airport has opened and would co-exist alongside Clark International Airport up until 2040 and possibly beyond. 

The final plan cannot be established until the gateway airport roadmap up until 2040 has been identified at which time the Department of Transportation and Communications would make preparations and finalize plans to execute the policy. Meanwhile, the DOTC continues to study measures to maximize operations at Clark International Airport and NAIA. 

The DOTC currently has a number of projects under way including the rehabilitation and final completion of NAIA Terminal 3 by Takenaka Corporation of Japan which is expected to complete in August of this year. A rehabilitation of NAIA Terminal 1 is also under way and is scheduled for completion in January 2015. The DOTC has also expressed interest in the construction of a low-cost carrier terminal at NAIA. However, no plans have materialised to date. France's Aeroports de Paris is currently preparing a plan for a 45,000 square meter low-cost carrier terminal planned for Clark International Airport. The terminal is valued at an estimated P7 billion. 


  1. Has anyone in our failing government ever considered the air base that is in Lipa City? I doubt it. It has advantages: lots of land, good road between Metro Manila and Lipa, and an out of use rail link that could be rehabilitated.
    Time to start thinking.

  2. Why close NAIA? Since congestion and land space are the main problems, the quickest solution would be expanding and bringing the Sangley Point and Lipa City runways to international standards. Long term solution is to spread the economic activity of the country to other larger islands such as Mindanao, Samar, Leyte, Cebu, Negros, Panay, Palawan and Mindoro with their own international airports.

  3. Make it in Pampanga... palakihin.. sabay ilipat sa batangas ang lahat ng container sa north at south ng mabawasan ng mga truck sa kalsada sa metro manila.


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