airports in the Philippines

LOOK: San Miguel’s planned Bulacan airport complex

Aika Rey

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LOOK: San Miguel’s planned Bulacan airport complex

'AEROCITY.' San Miguel Corporation and Palafox Associates bare the concept plans for the New Manila International Airport project.

Palafox Associates via SMC

Here's how the New Manila International Airport complex would look like

MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel Corporation (SMC) and consultant Palafox Associates released the conceptual master plan for their planned “aerocity” in Bulacan.

SMC is constructing a sprawling new airport complex in Bulacan province under a build-operate-transfer scheme. It will operate the New Manila International Airport there for 50 years before handing it over to the government.

SMC tapped architecture firm Palafox Associates, whose designs, the conglomerate said, “reflect the vision of a modern Philippine city.”

“These designs presented to us by Architect [Jun] Palafox and his team will be close to actual. There will probably be some adjustments by the time we implement, and we will still continue to improve as needed, but in terms of the overall concept, design, and the features, this is it,” said SMC president Ramon Ang.

WATERFRONT. Palafox Associates says the plan introduces the concept of waterfront development to protect the site from storm surges and also to function as an ‘environmental sanctuary.’ All images from Palafox Associates and SMC

According to SMC, the airport will initially feature four parallel runways, a terminal, and an interlinked infrastructure network of expressways and railways.

SMC also said the airport city will adopt green architectural and urbanism guidelines “over and above” the Philippines’ building and zoning codes.

The aerocity will stand on 2,500 hectares of coastal property which will be a gateway to a developing industrial, commercial, and government center.

URBAN LANDSCAPE. The proposed aerocity will feature wide boulevards with landscaping, greenery, dedicated lanes for mass transportation and biking, active frontages, and pedestrian walkways.
SOLAR POWER. Palafox Associates says the skywalks could become micro solar farms, which may be used to power streetlights and other design fixtures.
‘PEDESTRIAN BOULEVARDS.’ The planned pedestrian walkways are said to encourage people to walk within the city.
PROTECTED BIKE LANES. The proposed bike lanes will be separated with landscape barriers from motor vehicles.

San Miguel Aerocity got a franchise to construct a new airport in Bulacan, seen to decongest the deteriorating Ninoy Aquino International Airport, after the bill for the franchise lapsed into law in December 2020.

Environmental groups questioned the project, with fisherfolk and civil society groups seeking a writ of kalikasan from the Supreme Court in December 2020 to stop the construction. The SC junked the petition less than a month after it was filed.

Boskalis Philippines clinched the $1.73-billion (P83-billion) contract to develop the land, which is expected to be completed in 2024. –

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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