By Emmie V. Abadilla
San Miguel Corporation (SMC) has partnered with global firms Groupe ADPi, Meinhardt Group and Jacobs to design and build its P734-billion proposed New Manila International Airport in Bulacan (NMIA), the conglomerate’s biggest investment in a single project to date.
The triumvirate has built world-class airports including Singapore’s Chiangi Airport, Atlanta Airport and France’s Charles de Gaulle Airport.
The initial designs of SMC’s partners show 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.
SMC announced it will also engage a world-class airport operator to help manage NMIA.
The airport “will definitely impact the lives of millions of Filipinos and the country in general – all the more reason for us to push for greater sustainability and choose the best people to work with us,” according to SMC president and COO Ramon S. Ang.
At the same time, he assured fisherfolk to be affected by the project will have better homes in relocation sites with fishing power boats where then can re-establish their livelihood.
“This project’s success is anchored on helping support the local fishing industry,” Ang underscored. “We are in the process of identifying areas where together we can build a fishing community that will last for generations to come. We want Bulacan to eventually become the seafood capital of the Philippines, exporting to other countries, with tourists coming to sample them–similar to what happened to Japan’s Tsukiji.”
SMC said it hopes to be able to set the stage for a meaningful and productive engagement soon as it gets final approval from the government.
The airport project will “provide more and better livelihood opportunities, not to take them away; ensure environmental balance and enhance resilience against calamities, because it’s the right thing to do,” according to the SMC President.
As soon as SMC gets final approval from the government, it would officially start meaningful and productive engagement with all concerned stakeholders, especially the affected communities, he pledged.
SMC is building its proposed airport on a 2,500 hectare property in Bulakan, Bulacan about 30 kms northeast of Metro Manila at no cost to the government.
The NMIA is being designed to address the capacity needed today amid existing airport congestion, while allowing for future expansion. It will be capable of accommodating 20 million passengers a year who will enjoy the benefits of world-class facilities.
As a catalyst to development, NMAI is expected to fuel trillion of dollars in economic activity annually; create an estimated 20 million direct and indirect jobs; bring in 30 million foreign tourists in the country; and decongest Metro Manila, integrating the complex into a larger infrastructure ecosystem that includes new and existing expressways and mass transit systems.
This will also bring Bulacan’s local economy, together with adjacent provinces, to unprecedented levels of growth.