Bulacan airport land development 42% complete

Elijah Felice Rosales - The Philippine Star
Bulacan airport land development 42% complete
Artist’s perspective of the proposed Bulacan airport.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — The New Manila International Airport (NMIA), set to be the largest airport in the Philippines, is gaining headway in its civil works, with land development reaching 42 percent completion, according to the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

The DOTr said San Miguel Aerocity Inc. (SMAI)  expects to finish the development works for the 1,693-hectare site by the end of 2024 and plans to proceed with the construction of the airport with the goal of operating it by 2027.

“Land development works are now at 42 percent completion. The target full completion of land development is December 2024,” it said.

“Actual construction will commence right after that. The target completion is in 2027, which is the target start of airport operations,” the DOTr  said.

Last week Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista inspected the civil works of the NMIA being done by SMAI, a subsidiary of San Miguel Holdings Corp., the infrastructure arm of San Miguel Corp.

The NMIA, located in Bulacan, is set to become the largest airport in the Philippines.

As the first phase of NMIA can accommodate at least 35 million passengers per year, the airport is expected to create more than one million jobs, attract foreign direct investments and scale up trade activities in Central Luzon.

Under the 50-year concession agreement, SMAI will bankroll, design, construct, complete, test, commission, operate and maintain the NMIA. Once SMC’s franchise expires, the DOTr will take over the operations of the airport.

Bautista, in October, aired his willingness to privatize at least 10 regional airports after the DOTr received just P2.49 billion for aviation development for 2023. The DOTr had asked for a budget of P28.3 billion to construct and enhance 50 airports nationwide, but the request was denied on fiscal constraints faced by the government.

“We plan to invite as many private sector participants in our infrastructure projects, such as the privatization of EDSA carousel, operation of our seaports, privatization of 10 provincial airports, the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit project and many more,” Bautista said.

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