Sangley airport to open for cargo, turboprop planes in a week – Transportation dept.

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 29) — The Sangley airport in Cavite is scheduled to open for small aircraft within seven days, just in time for President Rodrigo Duterte's deadline.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade headed to Sangley Point, also known as the Danilo Atienza Air Base in Cavite City, on Tuesday to witness a dry run of operations in the area. Sangley is eyed to serve as one of several alternatives to the congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Metro Manila.

Tugade took a 15-minute ferry ride from the CCP Bay Terminal in Manila to get to Sangley. He, alongside other Transportation officials, witnessed a CebGo cargo plane land on the runway.

"The dry run will be finished in seven days. After seven days, it will be operational as an ideal operating identity," Tugade said in a statement, noting that Malacañang will be invited to an inauguration ceremony early next month.

Growing frustrated by flight delays in NAIA, Duterte in June ordered Sangley Point to begin handling domestic flights by November. Tugade ordered round-the-clock construction in Sangley to meet the target in five months.

Tugade said that the gateway can only accommodate propeller-type planes for now, but could scale up for bigger passenger planes possibly in "less than 12 months."

Jim Sydiongco, director general of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, said Sangley has received interest from general aviation or chartered flights as well as cargo freighters so far. He clarified that the Cavite runway can accommodate planes as big as the Airbus A320, but is constrained by some obstacles for landing.

The Sangley airport currently has one hangar and a passenger terminal building. Runway lights would be installed by end-December, Sydiongco added.

To get to the Sangley airport, one can choose to take a ferry boat from Pasay and board a bus from a Coast Guard wharf near the facility. Point-to-point buses can also carry passengers to NAIA and to the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange. Tugade said officials are in talks with the Cavite expressway to build access roads leading to Sangley, while "water jeepneys" from Cavite to Divisoria are planned for rollout by December.

Aside from Sangley, the DOTr wants the Clark International Airport in Pampanga and the San Miguel Corporation's New Manila International Airport in Bulacan as other gateways to Luzon, particularly Metro Manila.