(SEALED. Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade and San Miguel Corporation president-COO Ramon S. Ang seal with handshake signed concession agreement for the Bulacan International Airport. Photo courtesy of PIA 3)
CLARK FREEPORT – The green light was finally given for the start of construction of the Bulacan International Airport (BIA).
A “Notice to Proceed” was granted to San Miguel Aerocity Inc. (SMAI), a conglomerate of San Miguel Corp. (SMC), by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) in a ceremony held at the latter’s head office here on Wednesday.
The BIA has a design capacity of up to 200 million passengers annually with four parallel runways. The BIA is seen to help decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila and complement the operations of Clark International Airport (CRK) here.
The government will not spend for the construction of the planned airport.
“This airport aims to enhance the mobility and connectivity of air-riding Filipinos through an additional choice of gateway,” Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade said during the concession agreement signing.
Tugade and SMC president-COO Ramon S. Ang signed the contract, which covers a 50-year concession period.
Under the agreement, SMC will undertake the financing, design, construction, supply, completion, testing, commissioning and operation and maintenance of the new international gateway that will also be known as the New Manila International Airport (NMIA).
“Let it be a battle of commercial competitiveness (among) Bulacan International Airport, NAIA and CRK as it benefits the riding public as they will be given a freedom of choice. They can choose the airport they desire. This is what is important. It’s all about comfort. It’s all about convenience. It’s all about putting life, to the President’s wish and desire, for a comfortable life for Filipinos,” Tugade said.
For his part, Ang hopes that the airport will help boost economic growth in Central Luzon.
“This will really benefit our people and it will create a lot of business opportunities for Filipinos. It will bring so much foreign tourists,” he said.
SMC is expected to begin construction before the year ends with a target to commence airport operations in four to six years.