San Miguel Corporation (SMC) is set to build the country’s biggest airport after being awarded the P735-billion New Manila International Airport (NMIA) tender.
SMC, a multi-billion company that first proposed the project three years ago, is set to receive the notice of award. This happened after no other bidders sent a proposal to challenge the original proponent at the conclusion of the Swiss challenge for the project.
The airport will be the SMC’s “single biggest investment” in the Philippines and is designed to help decongest Metro Manila.
“What we hope to build is a long-term solution—a sustainable and world-class Philippine gateway with enough runways and facilities to meet current and future needs,” SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang said in a statement released on 31 July.
SMC sees the NMIA as part of a larger infrastructure ecosystem that includes expressways and mass transit systems to solving a problem “that has long held back progress, growth, and prosperity for the country.”
The company said that the NMIA project will also provide more than a million direct and indirect jobs.
The project is expected to boost the local economies of Bulacan and neighboring provinces, as well as the country’s status as an investment and tourism destination.
“It will raise our country’s profile and competitiveness as an investment and tourism destination, and help boost our local and export industries,” Ang said.
According to Ang, the NMIA is a “landmark Filipino project” with all costs shouldered by the firm under a build-operate-maintain contract worth PHP735.6 billion.
“It is a landmark Filipino project that will be built at no cost to government and with no subsidies or guarantees of any kind,” Ang said.
The NMIA project will cover roughly 2,500 hectares in Bulakan, Bulacan, located about 50 kilometers northwest of Manila.
Once completed, the proposed airport will have at least four parallel runways that can accommodate more than 100 million, or about three times the current design capacity of NAIA.
The NMIA can later be expanded to 200 million and is projected to have 240 aircraft movements per hour.
Included in the NMIA’s contract is an 8.4-kilometer tollway connecting the airport to the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) in Marilao, Bulacan. This would conveniently link the airport to Metro Manila.
The NMIA is expected to be operational within four to six years from the start of its construction this year.
“We still have a long way to go, but with the continued support of government and everyone, we hope to get started working right away,” Ang said.