MIAA Closes Airport to General Aviation, 
Opens Sangley to Commercial Traffic

1 August 2013

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has issued an order limiting flights of general aviation traffic from using Ninoy Aquino International Airport beginning July 31.

In its stead is the Sangley Airport in Cavite which begins its first commercial traffic since its inception as a military airport by the Americans in 1945.

The restriction was issued by Transport Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya on June 28 under Department Order No. 2013-08.

In a statement by  CAAP Deputy Director General John Andrews during a press briefing this afternoon, the flight restriction covers corporate jet and air taxi landings and take-offs at NAIA to only two cycles per hour, which is equivalent to two take offs and landing from 11 PM to 11 AM only.

General Aviation flights used to have seven to eight cycles per hour, according to Andrews. 

With the opening of Sangley Airport,  all the general aviation flights will eventually be transferred in Cavite, as well as small propeller and turboprop flights soon, making NAIA a jet-only airport as it prepares to accommodate the arrival of 12 widebody jets of both PAL and CEB this year. 

In a separate statement, Angel Honrado, Manila International Airport Authority General Manager, said the new policy will raise NAIA's rated capacity to 42 landings and take-offs per hour from the present 40 with the reduction of Genav traffic.

“We will be able to minimize delays and cancellations,” Honrado said.

Honrado added that NAIA was able to handle as high as 52 events (landing and take offs) per hour in the past but because of high delay incidence they were able to reduce congestion to as low as 36 events in past two years.

NAIA registered an average of 550 aircraft movements daily with 450 planes using runway 06-24, while  runway 13-31 handles 100 planes on average per day.

General Aviation planes causes delay in congested airport because they occupy a lot time on approach and landing due to their speed limitation as compared to the faster jet which can vacate the runway through the rapid exits in less than 60 seconds as compared to the props which takes almost 120 to 180 seconds from final approach to landing.


  1. Now now, Sangley isn't even ready yet to accommodate Gen Av traffic. They still don't have the right facilities, and worst the Airforce and Navy is still there and would still take time to vacate the Airport. DOTC issued the order prematurely without the consultation of the private sector. Livelihoods and business are now affected. I'm thinking, the order was issued before the SONA, is this just to impress the President?

    1. The Genav operators was already informed years in advance of the eventual transfer, including the actual date of relocation. And they have been heard in numerous hearing called for the purpose.

    2. this reply is for you The Phil Airspace

      Mr. Egz Aguilar's response is actually far more accurate... yes, MIAA already informed the GenAv community of this plan, and reps from them have visited and inspected Sangley, but all of them voted against the move simply because the place is not ready for it... no hangars, no navaids, heck, even no runway lights (Sangley is not a night rated airbase FYI), not to mention (and I don't know if you know), that 2/3 of Sangley's runway is sinking in flood and sea water...

      so a full moveout of GenAv from NAIA, I don't think it will happen within the said timeframe... though the GenAv community is open and willing for it to help decongest NAIA, unless the Government improve the said facility, a moveout of GenAv, won't happen anytime sooner, or later...

      and by the way, most people don't realize this, but GenAv only makes about less that 20% of all incoming & outgoing traffic from NAIA (even before this departure/arrival restriction took effect), hardly noticeable in fact... so a moveout is only a mere bandaid solution...

      just wait till the big carriers' newly acquired aircraft arrive and their flight schedules pump up... this decongestion problem will only get a HECK OF A LOT WORSE...

      PAL COO Ramon S. Ang's idea of a new airport is a FAR better plan, in my opinion...

    3. Could the distance to Cavite perhaps be a rallying point for this?

      No hangars? Its an airbase. It should have one. check.
      No navaids? Its an existing airport. It should have one. check
      No runway lights? True. But Laguindingan also has no runway lights.
      Why? Do all GA traffic fly during night time?

      You don't also need the entire stretch of the runway to fly even with the current displacement. Heck, NAIA runway is prone to flooding too. And we don't believe the likes of you fly during typhoons or within its paths. Common sense.

      Lets be honest!

      We do however agree that is not the solution.

    4. sorry to inform you mister, but, I am a Sangley Resident, and my old man is a former PAF pilot, who flew in and out of Sangley.

      No Hangars? yep, you heard me right, or to be more accurate, it doesn't have ENOUGH to shelter EVERY GenAv aircraft there, not to mention, inadequate facilities to service and maintain them

      No Navaids - you said it "should have one" and I agree with you fully, but that doesn't change the fact that IT DOESN'T HAVE ONE... (you might wanna read that last line again)...

      "Why? Do all GA traffic fly during night time?"

      not always, but GA planes (especially those on the corporate/charter groups) do, and they need flexible schedules since they (I mean, WE) fly on an on-need basis, so we don't have much of a luxury as to tell our bosses when should we fly, (which is the reasons why they bought their own airplanes in the first place - as a TIME SAVER)

      you clearly don't understand the reason why we need the full length - for SAFETY reasons... what if we have to reject the takeoff? what if we need to fly with full load? if we don't meet our runway requirements, then we are violating our safety standards... (it's not just airlines that are observing those practices... we also do, and we are trained the very much the same way as our airline colleages)

      so what if NAIA's prone to flooding too? are you justifying that? that we should just accept it? man... I hope I'm just misunderstanding you... you know what I mean...

      ah oh yes, we dodge bad weather, same as the airlines, so why are you justifying that we should just settle on less than adequate services than what the airlines should have? are you saying that we are not entitled to the same kinds of services as air operators? wohow... strong statement there... and I sure hope no other GenAv guy will interpret it this way... or you may face something like a contempt case against you...

      I AM honest, mister, and I believe you should think about what you're posting here before you come back to me with all guns blazing...

      that is, if you don't want me to report you or this site to the CAAP DG (who happens to be a former Sangley Air Base Commanding Officer... (I'm serious)

    5. P.S.

      ano ba tingin mo sa amin? squatter? lintek ka... ang mahal-mahal ng binabayad namin buwan-buwan, taon-taon sa MIAA tapos sasabihan mo kami ng ganyan?

      I know people from MIAA, CAAP, and the airlines who regard us with a heck of a lot more respect that you have shown in this forum, mister...

    6. Please. By all means. You can sue us too. We'll be glad to see you in court if that comforts you. It will also be our pleasure to see you at the DG's Office. Perhaps you haven't been there yet. We have!

    7. ok then, have it YOUR WAY

  2. The plan to transfer GenAv traffic to Sangley has already surfaced last year. Surely it's been carefully thought out since then. And the Air Force stationed in Sangley will be supposedly transferred to Lumbia Airport.

    1. not as carefully thought out as we hoped though...

    2. As they say, there are always birth pains.

  3. as usual in CAAP decisions are made based on ADHOC recommendations without proper thinking for the implementation.

    1. Exactly that´s the problem.
      It is useless to inform the GA operators years in advance but failing to provide them with exact details in good time.
      Next to this it´s unbelievable to order a move with 24hr notice but not offering an availlable alternative airport.
      Sangley is to date a military airbase and I suspect the military commanders are "not amused".
      And finally Sangley is not really convenient for almost any operator.
      Just think of the fish fliers that still need to get their products to NAIA for export.(remember we´re talking about perishable food!)

    2. I couldn't agree more guys...

  4. "General Aviation planes causes delay in congested airport because they occupy a lot time on approach and landing due to their speed limitation as compared to the faster jet which can vacate the runway through the rapid exits in less than 60 seconds as compared to the props which takes almost 120 to 180 seconds from final approach to landing"

    who wrote this thing by the way? is he a pilot? because he clearly doesn't understand what he's saying...

    I am a corporate turboprop pilot, and we NEVER even exceed 30 seconds from touchdown to rapid taxiway exit (heck, we don't even need the rapid taxiways to exit the runway quickly)

    (I can't say the same for my piston-powered colleagues, but, with the exception (maybe) of flight school trainers, they also don't linger in the runway for THAT long of a time)

    1. That is approach and landing sir. Indeed, an Air Traffic Controller is not a pilot. But its pointless to agree on that point. We are neither both. Perhaps your group should start talking to them and explain that you can approach and land in one minute. We can't dictate regulated separation and we're not sure you can either. Just a thought.

    2. we don't need to explain ourselves with it - they already know that fact...

      they are justifying the move for other reasons (ones that I am not at liberty to discuss)...

      make no mistake though, we are open with the move, and we want to help them out... we only request them to provide us with what we need... even if its not immediate... slowly, but surely... hindi yung ilalagay lang nila kami kung saan-saan ng parang galing sa bahay ampunan...

    3. We do hope that you meet halfway. Good luck.

  5. and oh, at 110 KIAS or greater approach speed, we are just as fast as the airline turboprops...

    and we can always speed up our approach speed until short final easily as a courtesy to the big jets and our corporate jet colleagues...