SM interested in partnering with San Miguel for $10-B airport

Rappler.com
Will the Philippines have a new modern airport? Two of the country's biggest companies are eyeing the project

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 – Two of the country’s biggest conglomerates – SM Investments Corporation (SMIC) and San Miguel Corporation – expressed interest in a partnering with each other for an airport project in Manila.

San Miguel earlier announced plans to develop a “$10-billion modern international airport” on a 1,600-hectare property along the Manila Bay, spanning Parañaque, Las Piñas and Bacoor, Cavite.

The proposed site is near the 300-hectare proposed reclamation project of the SM group with the Pasay City government.

“We can talk. That’s what we need for our country to grow in the next stage,” Jose Sio, SMIC chief finance officer, said.

Modern airport

San Miguel presented its proposal to President Benigno Aquino III last week.

The planned airport will have 4 runways that can accommodate 250 takeoffs and landings per hour, according to Ramon Ang, San Miguel president and chief operating officer.

This is significantly higher than the Ninoy Aquino International Airport’s 40 takeoffs and landings per hour.

San Miguel also proposed to build an expressway connecting the airport to the Makati central business district.

Ang added that San Miguel could finance the project and would invite other businessmen such as the Sys of the SM group, Gokongweis and Zobels to participate.

San Miguel owns a stake in legacy carrier Philippine Airlines, together with tycoon Lucio Tan.

Reclamation, investments       

The airport would be built on the project initiated by the Cyber Bay Corporation, which has already reclaimed 157 hectares.

To enable San Miguel to recover the huge investment, the conglomerate proposed to operate the airport for a long-term period.

“The proposed airport project would be more modern than the airports in Hong Kong and Singapore, both of which only have two runways,” Ang said. – Rappler.com

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