PAL Adds Direct Doha and Jeddah Flights

Direct Beginning March 26

30 January 2017

Philippine Airlines (PAL) will fly direct to Doha thrice a week starting March 26 PR684 departing Manila at 1:30pm every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from the existing midnight departure of PR656 via Abu Dhabi.

PAL will also start direct flights to Jeddah beginning March 26 PR662 departing Manila at 6:50am three times a week every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from the usual 10:00pm departure of PR658 via Dubai.

FA-50's Baptism Of Fire

28 January 2017

The Philippine Air Foce (PAF) has unleashed for the first time and the first combat sortie of any FA-50 manufactured jet as it delivered precision ordnance to Butig, Lanao del Sur on the night of January 26, 2017 against ISIS targets from Mactan Airbase in Cebu.

The two of the four newly acquired FA-50 fighter aircraft with tail numbers PH001 and PH004 delivered surgical air strikes against the terrorists group using highly advanced laser technology causing casualties to the militants.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana confirmed the used of said military asset and ammunition yesterday. Target coordinates were provided by a US Air Force drone flown from Cotabato City.

The jets from the 7th "Bulldogs" Tactical Fighter Squadron in Clark Airbase, Pampanga was sent to Mactan on January 22 in preparation for the precision strike. -image courtesy of Pinoy Aviator

The Race To Fill Cebu Hub

26 January 2017

Prime slot allocation at Mactan Cebu International Airport is fast disappearing after Low Cost Carrier Cebu Pacific and PAL Express flooded the airport with new slot request for new flights from the country's second busiest gateway.

The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) has noted that the two carriers are scrambling for slots to fly domestic points by fielding smaller planes in exchange for more frequency out of Cebu airport. Slots intended for international operations are not affected at this time.

Cebu Pacific (CEB) has ordered a fleet of 16 new ATR 72-600s, with 78 seats with options for 10 additional aircraft which will be operated by Cebgo, its wholly owned subsidiary while Philippine Airlines (PAL) has ordered a fleet of 5  new Bombardier DH8-400 aircraft with 86 seats and options for 7 additional aircraft which will be operated by PAL Express. It also operates four Q300 planes.

CAB said that a substantial majority of this turboprop orders will be stationed in Cebu for rotations to Visayas and Mindanao while some are heading for destinations in Luzon other than Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. 

The airline regulator cited as an example Cebu Pacific which flies A320 aircraft twice daily to Cagayan de Oro and now intends to operate four times daily on a smaller ATR aircraft. PAL also intends to double frequency to major Visayas and Mindanao hubs with smaller Q400NG planes which is now serviced by existing A320 aircraft.

Cebu Pacific is quick to respond saying the equipment downgrade was due to the exit of its A319 planes out of its fleet and has nothing to do about slot advantages in Mactan. PAL Express on the other hand argued that it is funneling passengers to Mactan so that it can connect passengers to Manila which they are unable to do at  other major airports due to slot concerns at NAIA.

CAB however maintains the position that should CEB and PAL eventually upgrades the aircraft, it will already have rights of first refusal on the unused slots and would most likely keep them away from the competition unless surrendered by the airline which is not going to happen considering its economic value in a congested airport, perhaps taking a cue on their experiences in Manila.

Small airline operators has already opposed such moves by two major airlines as anti-competitive behavior and vows to challenge them holding majority of MCIA slots that would be detrimental to their growth.

Airlines are known to fly non-revenue flights just to keep the slots allotted to them at the fully-booked airport like NAIA.

$2.1 Billion Airport Contract Up For Grabs

₱108 Billion Airports Bid Opens
  • ₱40.57 billion (Davao)
  • ₱30.4-billion (Iloilo)
  • ₱20.26-billion (Bacolod)
  • ₱14.62-billion (Cagayan De Oro)
  • ₱2.34-billion (Tagbilaran)
25 January 2017

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has announced bidding for the Development, Operations and Maintenance Contract (O&M Contract) of Davao International Airport Terminal with a minimum bid price of ₱40.57 billion under the amended Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program.The four other provincial airports include the ₱20.26-billion Bacolod-Silay International Airport, the ₱30.4-billion Iloilo International Airport, the ₱14.62-billion Laguindingan Airport, and the ₱2.34-billion New Bohol (Panglao) Airport.

The amended PPP program has a minimum price tag of ₱108-billion covering auctions for Silay, Davao, Iloilo, Laguindingan and Panglao airports with DOTr releasing its invitation to pre-qualify and bid the O&M contract yesterday, un-bundling the contract originally offered to private investors in 2015.

The project was previously bundled with Laguindingan and Panglao airports while another bundle covers Puerto Princesa, Iloilo, and Silay. In its stead is the individual offer for each airport for what its worth to the investors.

That simply means bidders would make a separate offer for each airport, in contrast with the previous arrangements wherein the five airports were grouped into two separate packages.

National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board resolved on 14 November 2016 to unbundle the regional airports development, operations, and maintenance projects after encountering criticism from President and NEDA chair Rodrigo Duterte after finding the high cost of parking and terminal fees that would be assessed by the winning concessionaire to the operated airports.

The planning authority said the contracts is being opened to new bidders. NEDA clarified however that the pre-qualified bidders before in the bundled projects are still considered pre-qualified bidders even if the projects are now unbundled provided that there are no changes in their legal, technical and financial capacity set by the department and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines(CAAP).

The PPP Center disclosed that among those pre-qualified bidders were “Metro Pacific Investments Corp., which partnered with AĆ©roports de Paris and TAV Havalimanlari Holdings A.S; San Miguel Corp. and South Korea’s Incheon Airport; Aboitiz Equity Ventures with VINCI Airports; Megawide Construction Corp. and India’s GMR Infrastructure, and the Filinvest Group with Japan’s Sojitz and Jatco.”

Under the contract, the winning bidder will be responsible for airside and landside construction according to ICAO standard classifications,like terminal maintenance, improvements and expansion, construction of parallel taxiway and apron expansion as well as airport navigational systems to address future demands for the next 30 years which is the concession period.

For Davao concession for example, the winning bidder will be responsible to undertake the operation and maintenance of the airport as well as provide additional facilities and other necessary improvements to include the following in various phases:
• Passenger terminal building expansion
• Cargo terminal building expansion
• Expansion of other key facilities such as car parking, and administration bldg.
• Passenger terminal building: additional area from 65,000 to 125,000 sq.m.
• Cargo terminal building: Additional area from 13,000 to 27,000 sq.m.
• Apron Area expansion
• Construction of full parallel taxiway

The obligation of the concessionaire is necessary to enhance passenger safety, security, access, passenger and cargo movement efficiency, and operational efficiency under a defined concession period.

The proceeds of the contract will be used to fund other airport development and improvement projects across the country to expedite and upgrade airport services to all comply with ICAO safety standards.

PAL Upgrades A330 Cabin

25 January 2017

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) will introduce new business class and economy seats on its Airbus fleet currently bound for the Middle East beginning July of this year.

The eight A330-300's originally designed to fit 404 passengers has started reconfiguration program at cost of $6 million over a period of seven months and from June 2017 will feature three classes layout, business, premium economy and economy cabins consisting of only 309 seats when refurbishment is completed. It will be 54 seats fewer than the existing tri-class A330-300 product and 105 fewer than the existing variant it replaces.

The new cabin will feature 18 business class seats with full aisle access and full-flat recline. It will also sport “pneumatic comfort system”, which allows the passenger to adjust the seat’s firmness, a first in Asia.

The economy class section will feature the old 2-4-2 layout from the existing 3-3-3 which boast 24 premium seats that are 19 inches wider and have 39 inches of legroom, while the 267 economy class seats are 17in wider and have 32in of legroom as compared to the present 16.5" seat width and 31" pitch. 

The airline has selected the Thompson Vantage XL for its 18 Business Class seats, the Zodiac 5810 for the 24 Premium Economy class seats and Zodiac’s economy product for the 267 Economy Class seats.

Likewise, passengers in all cabins will have access to USB ports and in-seat power outlets, touch-screen backseat in-flight entertainment systems, and on board Wi-Fi connectivity.

PAL has selected the backseat RAVE in-flight entertainment (IFE) system for the eight refurbished aircraft. Passengers will have 18.5 inch screens in Business Class, 13.3 inch in Premium Economy and 10.1 inch in economy. Passengers will be able to download the IFE content to their own tablets or smartphones using the myPAL Player app.

The re-configured A330 will first be deployed on longer routes to Honolulu and Melbourne beginning July, followed by Sydney the next month after. It will also be doing rotations to Hong Kong, Singapore, Seoul, Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka from Manila while the denser A330-300 variant is scheduled to fly to the Middle East beginning with Doha, Dammam and Riyadh scheduled on July, August and September, respectively. followed by Jeddah in October.

West Air Opens Kalibo and Cebu

24 January 2017

Chinese Low Cost Carrier West Air is introducing flights to Kalibo and Cebu beginning March 26 and March 28 respectively for Chongqing, China. The route will be served by Airbus A320-200 aircraft.

5J Opens CGY Hub

Flies Bacolod and Tagbilaran beginning March 15

24 January 2017

Cebu Pacific said Monday it will launch two new routes from Cagayan de Oro City, as it expands it's Mindanao operations.

Cebu Pacific said it would fly four times weekly (Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday) between Cagayan de Oro and Tagbilaran City from March 15, and thrice weekly (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday) between Cagayan de Oro and Bacolod starting March 16.

The route will be serviced by ATR 72-600 aircraft.

Meanwhile, the airline is also considering Puerto Princesa, Iloilo and re-opening of its Zamboanga flights from Cagayan de Oro when more aircraft becomes available.

The airline operates flights to Manila, Cebu and Davao from Laguindingan airport.

Sweeter The third Time?

PAL Returns To Kuala Lumpur Again

19 January 2017

Philippine Airlines (PAL) is returning back to Kuala Lumpur for the third time after suspending flight in February 2014 in favor of code share flights with Malaysia Airlines.

PAL will relaunch flight from Manila to Kuala Lumpur International Airport on daily basis from June 8, 2017 using Airbus A320-200 aircraft.

The route will still be code-shared with Malaysia Airlines which earlier streamlines its operations from 4x daily flight to 3x daily. The fourth flight will be restored in summer to be operated by PAL.

The airline earlier re-opened the route to Kuala Lumpur in May 1 of 2013 after seven years of absence.

Xiamen Grows Cebu Hub

18 January 2017

Xiamen Air is fast growing its Cebu hub as it opens Fushou-Cebu and Quanzhou-Cebu this year. The route will be serve with Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

Xiamen Air reopened the Xiamen-Cebu route in March 2016, flying three times weekly. The airline also flies Xiamen-Manila and for a time flew also Xiamen-Davao in September and October last year.

Schedules for the new flights from Mactan Cebu to China will be made available as soon as regulatory approvals are secured by the airline.

JAF1 Makes Port of Call In Davao

13 January 2017

The Japanese Air Force One and Japanese Air Force Two were in Davao for official state visit in the Philippines.

Prime Minister Abe was the first Japanese Prime Minister and the second highest ranking government official to have visited Davao City and Mindanao in general. He is also the first head of government to have visited a sitting President's home. Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad came to Davao in February 1994 for the launching of the East ASEAN Growth Area BIMP (EAGA), being the first head of state to do so in Davao and Mindanao.

The two aircraft carried Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his delegates after making ports of call in Manila Thursday approving some 1 trillion yen ($8.7 billion) in funding and investment assistance to the Philippines for the next five years before flying to Davao City for the night to have breakfast with President Duterte at his home the following morning.

Japan is the Philippines largest provider of Official Development Assistance (ODA), and is the second biggest source of foreign investment for two consecutive years in 2016 (after the Netherlands). Total trade between the countries was around $15.9 billion, about half that of the shipments between the Philippines and China.

The two Boeing 747 aircraft are used by the government of Japan for overseas travel by the Emperor, Prime Minister and other high-ranking officials. Each aircraft has a capacity of 140 passengers and can be used for emergency evacuations of Japanese citizens and overseas deployment of Japan Self-Defense Forces personnel.

The aircraft operated by the Japan Air Self-Defense Force left Davao International Airport at noon time Friday heading to Australia in a four nation tour before going to Indonesia and Vietnam.

PAL Grows Back Cebu Domestic

13 January 2017

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) is growing back its Cebu Domestic Network after cutting some services in 2012 due to integration with Air Philippines Corporation (APC) which now runs most of PAL domestic network.

PAL will be re-instating Cebu-Puerto Princesa and General Santos route on daily basis using Airbus A320 aircraft on March 26, 2017, a route it once abandon due to marketing issues. It will also re-instate Surigao  and will add Coron to its Cebu hub with daily flights starting March 26.

The airline will also add Clark-Puerto Princesa to its route network beginning March 26, 2017 instead of the 3xd Clark-Cagayan De Oro route, bringing the Clark hub domestic route to four (Cebu, Caticlan, Davao). PAL will likewise expand Cebu-Butuan with additional daily flight.

From Cebu, PAL flies Iloilo(3xd), Bacolod(2xd), Cagayan de Oro(3xd), Davao(3xd), Tacloban(2xd), Butuan(1xd), Caticlan(1xd), and Kalibo(4xw).

The airline previously flew from Cebu to Zamboanga, Dipolog, Ozamiz, Pagadian, and Surigao. It also flew from Zamboanga hub to Jolo, Tawi-Tawi and Davao.

CNS/ATM Goes Online In June

6 January 2017

From This
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has announced yesterday that the new P13.25 billion Communications Navigation Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) system will be operational by the end of June, replacing analog ground-based system with satellite-based CNS/ATM technology that will put the country at par with the rest of the world by having aircraft transponders receive satellite signals and using transponder transmissions to determine the precise locations of aircraft in the sky.

To This
The long delayed project was funded in part by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) with a grant of 22,049 million yen
and is expected to provide more efficient and safer air traffic flow management in the Philippines.

The project was partly funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). It includes the establishment of a central traffic control complex housed in the CAAP office in Manila, and 10 radar sites covering the entire Philippine Flight Information Region.

CAAP said the system is now 92% complete as they are testing and processing the integration and migration of the new navigational system.

Package 1 of the CNS/ATM project was finally awarded to a joint venture of Japan's Sumitomo Corporation and Thales Australia Ltd (formerly Thomson-CSF) after being frozen by the Commission on Audit for 3 years due to corruption allegations. The package involved the installation of the latest Eurocat system with an integrated Digital Voice Control System, Aeronautical Information System, Automated Message Handling System, Aeronautical Telecommunications Network Router, Global Navigation Satellite System monitoring and metrological systems.

The project's Package 2 includes the installation of an Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast Ground Station, En-route Radar (Secondary Surveillance Radar Mode-S), Terminal Radar (Airport Surveillance Radar/Secondary Surveillance Radar), VHF Terminal and Remote Control Air-Ground Communications facility, Microwave link and Very Small Aperture Terminal.

Package 3 of the project is up for bidding this year and slated for completion in 2019.

The CNS/ATM Systems Development Project was first conceptualized in 1994 in accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Global Air Navigation Plan, and would replace the aging vital communications, surveillance, and air traffic control equipment at selected airports nationwide.

Loan agreement with JICA was signed in 1995 to finance this project for implementation in 2002 but was delayed until 2006. It was only in 2010 that the project was awarded to the winning bidder before it was stopped again for alleged irregularity in 2011. It was cleared to continue only in 2013.The project will be finally completed in June of 2017, 20 years thereafter.

DOTr Bids Sangley Airport Project

6 January 2017

Sangley Airport Development is rolling super fast as the Transport Department(DOTr)is bidding ₱552.87 million for runway rehabilitation and asphalt overlay of the entire stretch to prepare it to civil aviation traffic and domestic turboprop operations.

Phase 1A of the project also involves runway grade correction, ramp construction, drainage system, construction of four hangars with a floor area of roughly 1,600 square meters (sq.m.) each, and 150 seater passenger terminal building (PTB) construction with an area of 800 sq.m. along with offices and vehicular parking area and other building facilities.

Twelve firms expressed interest in bidding for the said Project when they attended the pre-bid conference yesterday.

Phase 1B of the project to bidded out next year has a price tag of ₱707 million (see our earlier report here). Sangley airport expressway that will connect NAIA in 30 minutes for international transfer is also now pending with the Toll Regulatory Board for approval.

The project when completed is expected to reduce air traffic congestion at the country’s main international gateway, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) when all general aviation services and domestic turboprops transfer to Sangley Airport.

When President Flies Economy

Walking the Talk

6 January 2017
No this is not PR1 but a regular PAL flight out of Davao. Treat it as you will but this is the first economy flight of a sitting Philippine President taken on January 5, 2017. President Rodrigo Duterte earlier took a premium economy seat on board PAL going home to Davao City in July last year.

It was however former President Benigno Aquino who got the distinction of flying economy class first when he flew Cebu Pacific from Manila to Bandar Seri Begawan. The only difference was that President Aquino sat in front while President Duterte sat in the back like an ordinary passenger

Why MNL Traffic Decongestion Remedy Wont Work?

Airport Transfer Statistics
6 January 2016

72% of NAIA passengers has Metro Manila as destination while only 28.4% fly somewhere else. Most travellers connect to Puerto Princesa (PPS). This is the reason why the government is fast tracking construction of new Puerto Princesa Airport Passenger Terminal Building to absorb the 4.7% transfer traffic out of NAIA's 38 million passengers in 2016. Philippine Airlines already has regular charters to Taiwan and South Korea from PPS with Air Asia following suit in 2017. Domestic Transfer from Cebu is even larger at 5.2% which explains Cebu Pacific's massive growth on this route in 2016. Connection traffic to Caticlan was seen to go down dramatically in 2016 because of Kalibo gateway and Bacolod opening up for international traffic.

Airport planners see PPS to be the 3rd biggest airport in the Philippines if trends continue within the next 10 years driven by international passenger traffic, overtaking Davao, Iloilo and Kalibo in the process. Kalibo will likewise suffer a drastic reduction of passengers when Caticlan's new PTB opens in 2018. It is seen that 100% of Kalibo's international traffic will also relocate should the government allow Caticlan to be a gateway airport. Currently, only Kalibo and Iloilo in Panay are made gateway airports under ASEAN and North Asean bilateral agreements. Puerto Princesa and Caticlan will soon be connected with other domestic airports other than Manila, Cebu and Clark which should see passenger traffic mitigation working until at least 2022.

Tawi-Tawi Airport Has Come of Age

5 January 2017

Gets 130 million for runway upgrade

Sanga Sanga Airport in Tawi Tawi secured another boost in airport infrastructure spending from the Transport Department (DOTr) after bidding out ₱130.756 million for runway widening and extension (7.5m x 1920m widening, +300m ext), part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s build, build, build infrastructure development program.

The runway improvement project is necessary to qualify the facility to international standards (2.1k x 45m) and upgrade its aerodrome type rating as it is the only class 2 airport in the Philippines with regular Airbus A320 operations.

The airport’s runway was earlier extended with the help of  United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through Growth for Equity (GEM) Program which invested ₱33 million for runway extension and airport development. Extension works began in 2005 from 1,608 to 1,920 meters in 2009, and widened it from 18 to 30 meters.

10k liters Sides VMA105 ARFF Equipment Upgrade (Cat 6)

The extension project was supported by DOTr and CAAP which contributed ₱43 million for runway shoulder grade correction, ₱9 million for terminal renovation and expansion, and another ₱5 million for perimeter fencing. Another ₱10 million was contributed by the local government units of Bongao and Tawi Tawi for lot acquisitions and fencing. The 2005 airport expansion cost 100 million in total.

The project was supposed to be followed by a ₱63.9 million new passenger terminal building and apron construction scheduled to start in 2012 but lot acquisition problems has delayed its project implementation.

The 100 million Sanga Sanga Airport improvement completed in 2009 was part of the mothballed 1997 Third  Airports Development  Project of the Asian Development Bank with a price tag of $93 million covering Puerto  Princesa, Butuan, Dipolog, Cotabato, and Pagadian, which were not implemented because of lot acquisition problems and delays.

Cebu Pacific started jet operation at the Sanga-Sanga airport in October 2011 utilizing Airbus 319.   It has since upgraded the service to A320-200 with up to 3x daily services to Zamboanga during peak times.

The airport broke the 120,000 passenger traffic mark in 2016.

Sanga Sanga Airport Masterplan. Source: DOTr

PAL Is Ms. Universe Carrier

5 January 2017

Philippine Airlines (PAL) has announced Thursday that it was named the official airline partner of the 65th edition of the Miss Universe beauty pageant to be held in Manila this month.
Margie Moran (above, left) arrives in Manila after her Miss Universe win in 1973. She flew home on PAL. The national carrier has been flying Miss Universe beauties for decades, including (above, right) candidates to the 1974 pageant, held in Manila.
It will be the third time for PAL as it was the official carrier of the 1994 Miss Universe and a sponsor of the 1974 edition, both held in the Philippines. The airline also flew the country's two Miss Universe titlists Gloria Diaz and Margie Moran when they won in 1969 and 1973, respectively.

PAL said it will fly the 85 pageant candidates to several tourists spots in the country, including Cebu, Siargao, Davao, Vigan, Baguio, Batanes and Boracay.

Aside from some candidates, all members of the Miss Universe Organization committee and working staff will be flown to Manila by PAL.

Last month, the carrier flew Miss Universe Organization president Paula Shugart and nine candidates (representing Japan, Australia, China, Korea, Thailand, USA, New Zealand, Indonesia and Vietnam) from Manila and to Siargao for the pageant's kick-off event.

PAL's association with beauty queens dates at least as far back as 1969, when it flew the country's first Miss Universe, 18-year-old Gloria Diaz, back to Manila after her triumph. It also did the same for the country's second winner, Margie Moran, in 1973. It was also the airline partner of the 1974 pageant, which was held in the Philippines.

The airline was again named the official carrier for the 1994 pageant, when the country hosted the Miss Universe competition for the second time.

2016 Miss Universe Pia Alonso Wurtzbach is concurrently a PAL brand ambassador. While the country's representative in the 65th edition of the pageant, Maxine Medina, is a daughter of PAL flight purser Maximo Guillermo Medina.

Calbayog Airport Expands

4 January 2017 

The Philippine Transport Department (DOTr) has allocated ₱445.003 million as phase three of Calbayog Airport Development Project.

Phase 3 covers  lot acquisitions for site development to enable the construction of new passenger terminal building (PTB) that will increase passenger capacity of the airport tenfold from the present 450 sq.m to 4,500 sq.m. (180m x 25m). Site acquisitions include airport road, parking, apron, and future expansion areas.

The airport's apron will also be expanded (+208m x 93m) to comply with ICAO standards as the present ramp is too narrow to support an airbus A320 jet. The old terminal and other obstructing structures will likewise be demolish to make way for the expanded apron so that it will enable the airport to accommodate three airbus jets simultaneously consistent with Class 1 airport classification.

Apart from the new passenger terminal and  apron expansion, a new southern taxiway will also be constructed to increase aircraft movement at the airport.

Another ₱125 million is scheduled for phase 4 implementation covering runway shoulder grade corrections (1100m x 60m), night lighting facilities and other navigational aids due for bidding this year.

The first phase of Calbayog Airport Development Project conceptualized in 2012 involves runway widening (650m x15) in the amount of ₱30.0076 million followed by phase two, also runway widening (620m x15) and asphalt overlay (1660m x45) in the amount of ₱347.843 million.

The local government units shouldered the cost of the 500 meters extension to make the runway length of 2100m x45 comparable to other class one airport. Another ₱9 million was spend for feasibility and Master planning and ₱93.5 million for runway and airport terminal repairs, construction of control tower, fire station, purchase and installation of communication and navigation equipment and concrete paving of turn around pads and access roads.

Constructed in 1946 the airport began with a 500 meter grass runway which has grown length to 1k macadam in 1956 to 1,476 meters concrete runway by 1997.

Calbayog Airport Development Project has a price tag of ₱1.2 billion when fully completed.

Sangley Expressway Connects Airport

CAVITEX New Segment 5 Extends To Sangley Airport

3 January 2017

The Public Works Department (DPWH) said it will connect Sangley Airport in Cavite when it opens to civil aviation traffic, its official said Tuesday.

Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar said Sangley Airport in Cavite will be connected to the Cavite Expressway (CAVITEx) when it opens to the public in 2019.

The project is part of President Rodrigo Duterte's ‘Build, Build, Build’ infrastructure development program.

CAVITEx operator from Metro Pacific group has already submitted proposal to extend the expressway all the way to the Airport dubbed as the new "segment 5". DPWH has already taken segment 5 out of the toll road and now designated the Centennial Road.

Villar said Manila North Tollways Corp. (MNTC) has presented proposal for the new segment 5 road which is a 9.80 kilometers (km.), 4-lane divided expressway connecting CAVITEx to Rosario, Cavite and Sangley Airport.

The Sangley Expressway is already with the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) for approval.

Gensan Gets Aerobridge Pair

Expands Terminal threefold

3 January 2017

The Transport Department (DOTr) is expanding the General Santos International Airport passenger terminal building threefold to accommodate growing passenger traffic, part of President Rodrigo Duterte's build, build, build strategy.

462.522 million passenger terminal expansion project boast a two pier air bridge and a massive floor area of 12,000sq.m. from existing 4,000sq.m. terminal space which is slated to start by summer of this year and is expected to be completed in 2019.

When the project is completed the airport will have two contact bridges and three remote stands for heavy aircraft.

DOTr Extends Ipil Runway

Phase 2 is Rolling
3 January 2017
Transport Department (DOTr) is alloting 50 million for the completion of the second phase of runway concreting project of Ipil community airport in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay extending the usable length of the runway to 1.2 kilometer. 

The first phase of the project (see image) was started in 2009 under the stewardship of President Gloria Arroyo with a cost of 45 million. 

The third phase of the project will involve runway extension, construction of Passenger Terminal Building, control tower and navigational facilities installation. 

There was delay in airport construction because no airline company manifest willingness to launch flight there considering its close proximity to Zamboanga International Airport and Pagadian airports. 

Once completed in 2019, Ipil airport can service or accommodate general aviation and small cargo planes as well as Q400'sand ATR72's of major airlines for routes to Cebu and Manila.

DOTr Unveils New Sangley Terminal

2 January 2017

₱234 million Bukidnon Airport Rises in Don Carlos

2 January 2017

After twenty years wait, Bukidnon Airport (RPMY) rises in Don Carlos beginning with 200 hectare lot acquisitions in the amount of 234 million in the works to accommodate the class one runway and aerodome complex, part of President Rodrigo Duterte's Mindanao Infrastructure Project under the Build, Build, Build Program of the DOTr.

A class one airport is capable of serving jet aircraft with a capacity of at least 100 seats while Class two airport also known as feeder airport is capable of serving propeller aircraft with a capacity of at least 19 seats.

The lot acquisition project would soon be followed by airside preparation necessary for runway construction at Maray-maray, Don Carlos, Bukidnon after the site was identified by airport consultant Philippine Japan Aviation and Airport Engineering Consultancy Inc. (PHILJAC) as the best location for Bukidnon airport in 2013.

DOTr disclosed that Bukidnon airport will start initially as class two 1.5k x 30m feeder airport facility with same design of Sayak airport that is capable of servicing ATR and Q400 planes of airlines for routes to Manila and Cebu, but with a masterplan for the eventual class one upgrades in the future when traffic demand begins to rise significantly.

Philjac prepared the 24 million feasibility and master planning for this airport project. Other airport locations considered were Cabangahan in Malaybalay, and Dabongdabong in Valencia City. The old Malaybalay airport ceased operation in 1998. 

The 3 Billion Bukidnon Airport Development Project Plan will boast a 2.1km x 45m international standard runway when fully completed oriented northeast similar in size and length to the present runway of Laguindingan airport but with a smaller modular terminal.

Bukidnon airport is expected to serve the Cities of Malaybalay and Valencia and some town of Bukidnon, Lanao del Sur, North Cotabato and Agusan del Norte.

The One That Missed The Tongue

1 January 2017

Gripen's Contender?

An Official from the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) has confirmed that SU-35 was indeed being offered to the Philippines as its Multi-Role Fighter together with other military hardware such as the Mi-24 when its Defence and Foreign Minister visited Moscow last December 3.

Philippine Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana met with Alexander Fomin, director of Russia's Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation as well as  Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu in December 5.

Director Fomin said the offers also included naval ships and submarines, drones, helicopters, assault rifles and other defence equipments.

The FSMTC regulates the export of Russian defense equipment and dual-use products. The agency reports directly to Russian President Vladimir Putin but is linked to Russia's Ministry of Defense.

"The Philippines is upgrading its modest defense capability and is keen on engaging Russia in military logistics, including possible procurement of defense equipment, training, and technology transfer," the DFA said in a statement last month.

Fomin told Lorenzana that Russia is ready to cooperate with and supply the Philippines with whatever defense products it needs, adding that Russia can offer "a wide range of quality and reasonably priced defence products" after the latter raised logistics and armaments issues.

Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in December 30 that drones and submarines were offered to them but declined the procurement of a submarine because it is too expensive and the military does not need it right now. Lorenzana however confirmed the acquisition of drones and sniper rifles. But nothing is said about the fighter jets, Mi-24 helicopters, and corvettes (possibly Buyan-class) which were part of the Russian offer.

Philippines-Russia Agreement on Defense Cooperation is being finalized by both parties so it could be signed during President Duterte’s visit in Moscow in April 2017. Leaked documents suggest  procurement of big ticket items such as the SU35 will be through G2G arrangements under long-term loans provided by Moscow similar to those terms offered to Indonesia.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Air Force top brass is scheduled be shown the top of the line Russian jet demonstration in April as the Philippines participate in the Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS).