Construction of Bulacan airport to start in ’19
Conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) is aiming to start construction activities at its massive Bulacan airport project, being positioned as an alternative and eventual replacement to Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia), by 2019.
This comes as the Department of Transportation (DOTr) is targeting to launch and conclude a competitive challenge for SMC’s P735.6-billion proposal by the first quarter of next year.
“While we’re still going through a long process, hopefully, in 2019, we can hit the ground running on actual construction,” SMC president Ramon S. Ang said in a statement on Thursday.
SMC earlier said the project, located in Bulakan, Bulacan, would take around six years to complete.
The conglomerate, whose businesses span food, drinks, power, oil refining and transport infrastructure, earlier announced a plan to tap South Korea’s Incheon International Airport as a partner for the project, dubbed the New Manila International Airport (Nmia).
Ang said the airport project would require at least 100,000 workers who would be sourced from Bulacan and nearby provinces such as Bataan and Pampanga.
“That’s just the beginning. This is a massive project and over the next five years, we estimate that we will generate millions of direct and indirect jobs to build and operate Nmia,” Ang said.
Another major beneficiary of the project is Bulacan’s fishing industry.
SMC said the aerotropolis to be built along Manila Bay would transform the province into a “seafood capital” once it implements a coastal cleanup effort covering 12,000 hectares.
“Fishing in Bulacan has slowly been dying the last few decades because of pollution from households and industries,” Ang said. “Our goal is to clean up the coast and make Bulacan a seafood capital. After all, the airport is there to help support the local fishing industry.”
The cleanup will include dredging of coastal areas and efforts to curb the dumping of industrial waste into the sea. SMC also committed to beefing up security patrols along Bulacan’s coastline.
The Nmia will rise on a 2,500-ha property. The project will also include a residential zone, government center, seaport and industrial zone.
Once fully developed, the new gateway would have six parallel runways and a capacity of up to 100 million passengers a year. The project is located about 50 kilometers north of Manila.
The DOTr is also expected to award the operations of Naia, which suffers from congestion issues, to a group of conglomerates known as Naia Consortium by next year. The government is likewise expanding Clark International Airport, another alternative gateway located north of Bulacan province.
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