After a series of upgrades and additions to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) have failed to adequately provide service to, and address the crowding of, passengers arriving and departing from the Philippines, the government has in years past decided to tackle the problem from a new angle by building a new airport facility in the Bulacan provincial coast not far from Metro Manila. The project for a New Manila International Airport (NMIA) was first approved back in 2018, and in September last year the Department of Transportation (DOTr) awarded the contract to San Miguel Beer Corporation (SMC). But other than that there was no indication on when to start.

The question mark regarding the New Manila International Airport in Bulacan was answered on Wednesday, July 15 by the contractor San Miguel Corporation. CNN Philippines reports that SMC made a disclosure for the Bulacan site, revealing that they have heard back from the Department of Justice (DoJ) and its review of the project. According to SMC President and COO Ramon Ang, the company could begin work on building the NMIA anytime within three months from now, or October if there are no other developmental delays.

The deal awarded to SMC’s San Miguel AeroCity Inc. last September 2019 was to the tune of P734 billion, and afterwards the company had to sign financial closures with the institutions that will bankroll the airport construction. A date has not been given for these signings. The proposed airport in Bulacan will be built by SMC, operated by AeroCity Inc. for a set period of time, and ultimately transfer the facility over to full government ownership in a “build-operate-transfer” program. Once completed, the NMIA, located only 35 km away from the city of Manila to the north, will serve as a new gateway hub to the Philippines and significantly reduce air traffic congestion at NAIA.

Image courtesy of Esquire Philippines

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