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PAL proposes new Manila international airport

PAL president Ramon S. Ang

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MANILA - Philippine Airlines will propose to government the establishment of a new international airport in Manila, the flag carrier's president said on Thursday.

On the sidelines of PAL's stockholders' meeting, Ramon S. Ang said the new airport will have four runways and will span 2,000 hectares.

He said the company is in talks with a Korean contractor for the project, and aims to complete construction in 3 years.

Ang said the proposal would be aligned with the government's tourism plan.

Up until PAL's new proposal, the Aquino administration has been pursuing a different tack when it comes to expanding the country's airports. It has pursued a policy of shifting traffic away from Manila and towards other growth centers such as Clark.

Last summer, Manila suffered from delayed and cancelled flights as the surge in air travel led to bottlenecks at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. The government has since ordered a reduction in traffic at NAIA as a stop-gap measure.

PAL's new airport project comes on the heels of its $7 billion deal to acquire 54 planes from Airbus, with delivery to start next year. Ang had said the airline will buy a total of 100 planes, 26 of which are long-range, wide-bodied models.