San Miguel Submits $10-Billion Airport Proposal to President Aquino

The San Miguel Corporation formally presented its $10-billion proposal this week to the Philippine government to construct a brand new international airport along the Cyberbay Reclamation area. The proposed airport would exceed the high standards set by existing international gateways in Singapore and Hong Kong.

san miguel corporation new airport for manila
Image Source: ANC
According to San Miguel Corporation President Ramon Ang, the $10-billion project was well received by the government and President Aquino was "happy." The airport would be located along the disrupted 800-hectare waterfront reclamation project of Cyberbay Corporation along the Manila-Cavite Coastal Road. The project would cover the cities of Las Pinas and Paranaque.

The proposed airport would boast four runways each with a length of 3,600 meters with the ability to accommodate 250 take-offs and landings each hour, which would be a stark contrast to the current 40 per hour that can be handled at the existing Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Ang said that four Airbus A380, the largest commercial passenger aircraft, could land at the new airport simultaneously.

san miguel corporation new airport for manila
Image Source: Boo Chanco
The project would also include an elevated toll road that would connect the new airport to the Makati central business district. "If they agree to this, it will be a massive infrastructure project beating Hong Kong and Singapore," said Ang. "It will be the best airport in the region." He added that Hong Kong and Singapore only have two runways at their airports. 

The project will be constructed on 157 hectares of land that was already reclaimed by Cyberbay. However, Ang says that the entire project would require 1,600 hectares and that additional reclamation would be required. In addition, Ang indicated that the San Miguel Corporation has no intention to own the airport and that it is being built for the government. The conglomerate would turn over the airport property to the government upon completion but will earn compensation by operating it. 

new manila airport san miguel
Image Source: Boo Chanco
The San Miguel Corporation insists that it is only proposing the project as a contractor of the government and has no intentions to own the property. It will instead earn revenue through the collection of terminal fees and landing fees paid by airlines. The operation would be turned over to the state after 25 years. The conglomerate also wants to have a return on equity of 10 percent from the project. 

It is believed that the entire project could be completed within 7 years of ground breaking with the first two runways to be completed by the fifth year. Although the San Miguel Corporation can fund the entire project on its own, Ang said that they are open to taking in other local partners. As for the existing 400-hectare Ninoy Aquino International Airport complex, Ang suggested that the property could be privatised and eventually developed into another central business district. 

The San Miguel Corporation was supposed to present its plan to the President earlier this year but postponed the presentation while clarification was made on government policy on airline companies operating airports. The San Miguel Corporation owns 49 percent of Philippine Airlines. 

The proposal comes as the government continues to rehabilitate Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 to maximise operations at NAIA. Another departing passenger collapsed on the floor this week at Terminal 1 due to the long queues at immigration and the unbearable heat inside the terminal. This is the second time in two months that a passenger has collapsed at the airport due to heat. President Aquino issued a public apology  due to the unbearable heat at the airport.

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