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Bulacan airport, NAIA rehab to push through once COVID-19 situation eases —DOTr

Private sector-led massive airport projects such as the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) rehabilitation and the New Manila International Airport in Bulacan Airport projects will push through once the COVID-19 situation eased, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said Thursday.

“In so far as the NAIA Rehabilitation Project is concerned, there are ongoing checking and rechecking to be put,” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade told reporters in a virtual press briefing.

In February, the DOTr said project proponent NAIA Consortium must address two government concerns, namely, planned bus rapid transit (BRT) and the supposed layoffs of personnel of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) before the P102-billion rehab of the country’s main gateway can proceed. 

The NAIA Consortium — composed of AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp., Alliance Global Group Inc., Asia’s Emerging Dragon Corp., Filinvest Development Corp., JG Summit Holdings Inc. and Metro Pacific Investments Corp. — received the original proponent status (OPS) for the project in September 2018.

Phase one entails improving and expanding the terminals to increase the airport’s capacity to 65 million passengers, expected to be completed in 48 months.

The second phase involves the development of an additional runway, taxiways, passenger terminals, and associated support infrastructure.

“In so far as Bulacan Airport, may approval na ‘yan, grounbreaking na lang,” Tugade said.

San Miguel president and COO Ramon Ang said the supposed groundbreaking of the New Manila International Airport in December had been put on hold

Tugade earlier explained that the issues about liability cap and material adverse government action were not to be addressed, saying it’s “not even a major concern.”

The P735-billion Bulacan airport project was awarded to San Miguel Holdings Corp., the infrastructure arm of SMC, in August 2019.

Vital to decongesting the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA)—now operating at overcapacity, the Bulacan airport has a design capacity of 100 million to 200 million passengers per year, with four parallel runways for faster processing of flights and aircraft.

The project involves the construction, operation, and maintenance of a 2,500-hectare airport in Bulacan. The development includes a passenger terminal building with airside and landside facilities, an airport toll road, and four runways.

It includes an 8.4-kilometer tollway connecting the airport to the North Luzon Expressway in Marilao, Bulacan.

“Sa private airports proposals pwede natin ituloy ‘yan but with mandates of safety and health. May mga balakid in pursuing these things because of ECQ and GCQ (enhanced and general community quarantine),” Tugade said.

The Transportation chief said that all airport projects will push trough “once the pandemic changes favorably.”

Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Director-General Jim Sydiongco, for his part, said the agency is planning to push through with at least 22 ongoing projects in CAAP-operated facilities that have been scheduled for 2020 and were suspended due to the ECQ. -NB, GMA News