The Department of Transportation said Friday it expects the ground breaking of the P740-billion Manila International Airport project in Bulacan by August this year.
“There’s no reason to doubt that the ground breaking will happen in the next 45 to 60 days,” Transport Secretary Art Tugade said in Filipino during a virtual press conference.
Tugade said San Miguel Corp. was arranging financing as well as acquiring right of way and other ground works for the Bulacan airport.
San Miguel earlier tapped Dutch firm Royal Boskalis , through its wholly-owned subsidiary Boskalis Philippines Inc., to do land development works on the airport project.
The company also tapped the services of global firms Groupe ADPi, Meinhardt Group and Jacobs Engineering to design and build the New Manila International Airport.
All three companies were involved in building world-class airports, including Changi Airport in Singapore, Atlanta Airport in the US and Charles de Gaulle Airport in France.
The initial designs, some of which were released earlier, envision a future-ready airport focusing on overall passenger experience and sustainable technologies consistent with the needs of the environment and the local communities of Bulacan and nearby provinces.
San Miguel is also engaging a world-class airport operator to help manage the country’s future premier gateway.
The company said it would build the project on a 2,500-hectare property in Bulakan town, about 30 kilometers northeast of Metro Manila at no cost to the government.
The airport is projected to accommodate 100 million to 200 million passengers annually. San Miguel has secured a 50-year franchise to build and operate the Bulacan airport.
SMC’s Manila International Airport project, dubbed the largest investment in the Philippines, is seen as a “game-changer” for the Philippine economy. A long-awaited solution to Manila’s air traffic congestion woes, it is seen to make the country a more viable and competitive tourist and investment destination in the region.