Bulacan airport project to start construction in Q1 2021

San Miguel Corporation (SMC) on Tuesday, December 15, said the New Manila International Airport in Bulacan will begin construction in the 1st quarter of 2021.

Congress recently granted SMC a franchise to construct the P738-billion airport. Actual construction for the project can only start once President Rodrigo Duterte has already signed the franchise bill into law.

On Tuesday, SMC announced that Dutch firm Royal Boskalis Westminster NV, through its subsidiary Boskalis Philippines, bagged a $1.73-billion (P83-billion) contract to "restore" the land where the airport will be located.

Land development of the airport site is expected to be fully completed in 2024.

"Boskalis has committed to ensure that the area will be suitable for development. It will be designed with the highest technical and environmental standards, so it can withstand potential large earthquakes, local typhoon conditions, and even future sea level rise," SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang said.

Boskalis is a global dredging contractor. It recently bagged second phase works for Singapore's Tuas Terminal port project, which includes dredging and land reclamation.

For the Bulacan airport project, Boskalis' workplan and methodology includes measures to prevent soil liquefaction in the area. Liquefaction is a phenomenon where loosely packed and waterlogged sediments near the surface lose their strength due to ground shaking and appear to flow like fluids.

Spanning 2,500 hectares, the airport is envisioned as an alternative gateway to the congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

It will have 4 runways, 8 taxiways, and 3 passenger terminals eyed to serve some 100 million passengers annually. A 200-megawatt solar farm will also be constructed to help power the new airport. – Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.