The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) is re-evaluating the feasibility of a third runway at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila, because of its potential impact on radar operations and a nearby highway.
The $5m (P2.4bn) expansion was being planned to ease the problem of congestion in Manila. The CAAP estimated that airlines suffered losses of approximately $0.16bn (P7bn) a year because of congestion at the airport.
The CAAP was part of the group of agencies that was given responsibility to study the technical feasibility of the new runway, measuring approximately 2,100m, or 40% shorter than Naia’s primary 3,400m runway.
CAAP director general William Hotchkiss III said that the third runway’s alignment would impact the location for the airport’s new communications, navigation, surveillance / air traffic management (CNS/ATM) project. He added that there was a need to re-engineer the plan as its alignment would affect part of the circumferential road 5, or C5.
Public works secretary Rogelio Singson had said earlier that the construction would also impact the flyover connecting C5 across the South Luzon Expressway.
As reported in the Inquirer, Hotchkiss said that it was unlikely the project would be finished by the time President Benigno Simeon Aquino III steps down in 2016.
Hotchkiss also added that the alternative for changing the alignment was to upgrade more provincial airports to handle evening flights and to allow more flexibility for airlines to schedule flights, so as to reduce traffic at certain points in the day.