Sangley Point in Cavite. PHOTO FROM CAVITE.GOV.PH

General aviation operations, such as chartered flights, as well as domestic flights, could soon be transferred to Sangley Point in Cavite to decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

The decision was reached during a Cabinet meeting Monday night in Malacañang, following President Rodrigo Duterte’s surprise inspection at NAIA because of complaints from passengers.

“[H]e (Duterte) shared to the Cabinet secretaries what he found out in his surprise visit at the NAIA. He expressed dismay and hinted at its revamp,” Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

During the eight-hour meeting, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade proposed that to ease congestion at NAIA, general aviation or domestic flights should be moved to Sangley Airbase, the Palace spokesman said.

Tugade told the President and Cabinet members that he had begun testing ferries that could bring passengers from Mall of Asia in Pasay to Sangley, a former American naval station, in 18 to 24 minutes, Panelo said.

“The President directed the operations in Sangley Point to start immediately. On security concerns, President Duterte prefers that airport security be handled by a single entity, either from the military or civilian force,” Panelo said.

Panelo said Tugade would draft an executive order “for the President’s consideration.” (Felipe F. Salvosa II)