SMC, DOTr set to sign contract for P735-B Bulacan airport
Conglomerate San Miguel Corp.’s (SMC) offer to build the country’s biggest airport— the New Manila International Airport in Bulacan province—is taking a step closer to its ceremonial groundbreaking event.
SMC and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) will hold a contract signing on Wednesday, one of the remaining milestones before SMC can begin formal work on the P735-billion project, which will help decongest Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia).
The DOTr made the announcement on Monday and this was also confirmed by SMC president Ramon S. Ang.
Ang said SMC wanted to hold the groundbreaking event within the year. It still requires a notice to proceed from the DOTr.
SMC had said the New Manila International Airport would rise on about 2,500 hectare-property in Bulakan, Bulacan.
Once fully completed, it will have at least four parallel runways and a passenger capacity of about 100 million, or about three times the current design capacity of the Naia. SMC hopes to finish the first phase of the airport in four to six years.
SMC—a food, drinks and infrastructure conglomerate that first proposed the project three years ago—won the project after no rivals emerged during the Swiss Challenge deadline on July 31.
The company operates Boracay Airport and is behind the Metro Rail Transit Line 7, which will link Metro Manila and Bulacan.
SMC’s airport proposal also includes an 8.4-kilometer toll way that will connect the New Manila International Airport to the North Luzon Expressway in Marilao, Bulacan.
SMC has yet to name its partner for airport operations and Ang said on Monday that talks were still ongoing. He said last November that they were in discussions with South Korea’s Incheon International Airport.
The New Manila International Airport is part the DOTr’s multiairport approach to addressing air congestion in Manila and nearby provinces.
That direction also includes the expansion of the Clark International Airport in Pampanga, which was recently turned over to a consortium led by JG Summit Holdings and Filinvest Development Corp.
Separately, a group of tycoons submitted a proposal to operate and expand Naia for 15 years while the Cavite government also offered to redevelop the nearby Sangely Airport into an international air gateway.
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