Philippine Business News - SMC Proposal for New Manila Gateway Airport - artist's image by San Miguel Corporation

SMC Proposes New $10b Manila Gateway Airport

Philippine Business News, Manila – San Miguel president Ramon Ang said this week the company had put forward proposals to build a new $10-billion (P436 billion) international airport in Manila.

Ang announced the location of the Metro Manila airport scheme would be Cyber Bay’s 750 hectare reclamation project in Manila Bay. The plans include building four runways and an elevated toll road to connect the airport to the Makati financial district, as well as additional land reclamation.

The planned airport project would be capable of handling 150 million passengers annually and could accommodate 250 takeoffs and landings per hour. By comparison the Ninoy Aquino International Airport has a capacity for only 40 per hour.

Ang said that San Miguel would recoup its huge investment by operating the airport for a long-term period, earning fees from airlines and collecting terminal fees from passengers.

“I [San Miguel] will not own the land. I will just operate. Once the airport was constructed, I will give it to the government and then we will negotiate. I will ask for a return on equity of 10 percent,” he said.

The proposals were presented to President Aquino on Wednesday, Ang confirmed.

However, Cyber Bay, also partly owned by Ang, has so far denied any involvement in the project. “Please be advised that the Company has no participation with respect to the reputed proposal,” the company said.

There may also be some government opposition to the scheme, as it has previously stated any proposal for a new airport would be subject to state scrutiny and be open to competition.

However, a spokesman said the government would invite San Miguel to make a formal proposal. “We are open to the proposal so far, but we’ll need more information to study it properly,” said Michael Arthur Sagcal, spokesman for the Transportation and Communications department.

The proposal put forward by San Miguel, which also owns a stake in national flag carrier, Philippine Airlines, could gain considerable support, as there is still no realistic solution to overcrowding at NAIA. Another person fainted from heat exhaustion at the airport on Thursday, where hundreds of foreign dignitaries and potential investors will disembark next week, to attend the World Economic Forum on East Asia, May 21st-23rd.