San Miguel presents $10B airport proposal to Malacañang

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The airport is eyed to rise on an 800-ha property that is owned by a company controlled by San Miguel head Ramon Ang

MOVING OUT. Some foreign airlines are moving to the NAIA Terminal 3 from Terminal 1 as part of efforts to ease congestion in the main Manila airport. File photo by AFP/Jay Directo

MANILA, Philippines – Conglomerate San Miguel Corporation on Wednesday, May 14 presented to President Benigno Aquino III a proposal to build a $10-billion airport that will replace the congested and 3-decade-old Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang confirmed in a text message that the plan was finally submitted to the Palace after a series of delays.

Ang said SMC would build a $10-billion airport with 4 runways on an 800-hectare property along the Manila-Cavite coastal road. The property is owned by Cyber Bay Corporation, which is controlled by Ang.

The airport will be double the 400 hectares being occupied by NAIA, which has two runways.

A Nikkei report earlier said the project would be offered under a build-operate-transfer scheme and ownership would be turned over to the government after 25 years.

SMC was supposed to present its plan to the President in February last year, but this was postponed pending questions on government policy on airline companies operating airports. SMC owns 49% of legacy carrier Philippine Airlines; the rest is owned by tycoon Lucio Tan.

SMC’s proposal comes as the government began works for the rehabilitation of the NAIA Terminal 1 and retrofitting of Terminal 3. Both projects are eyed to be completed in time for the country’s hosting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in 2015.

Terminal 1 operates beyond its design capacity of 4.5 million and now handles over 8 million passengers. Terminal 3, on the other hand, operates at about half of its 13 million capacity. The government wants to transfer some of the passenger traffic to Terminal 3.

Gov’t plans

The government has its own plans for an alternative airport in Manila.

The Department of Transportation and Communications eyes to put up a new international airport by 2027, while it develops the congested NAIA and the Clark International Airport in Pampanga. (READ: Another in’tl airport near Metro Manila?)

The plans are part of an airport roadmap that seeks to address growing passenger volume in the country. The Japan International Cooperation Agency projects passengers from the greater capital region to hit 106.7 million by 2040 from 31.88 million in 2012.

DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said they were looking at Sangley Point in Cavite and Laguna de Bay as possible sites for the new airport. –

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