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Saturday, May 17, 2014

San Miguel willing to undergo bidding for new airport project

San Miguel Corp (SMC) is willing to go through bidding for its proposed $10 billion international airport in the south of Manila.

"The idea is that the government will bid out the project. We just presented our proposal. I cannot ask the government na bigyan ako ng right of first refusal. That's not good. So what we presented is a good idea. A good project and I don't want people to say that we have the advantage over anybody. Kaya okay sa akin na magpatawag siya ng bidding para magkaroon ng equal chance, equal opportunity to build this airport," SMC president Ramon S. Ang told reporters on Thursday night.

Ang said SMC is open to partner with Filipino companies such as the SM and Ayala groups, for the construction of the international airport.

"Cebu Pacific can also build a low-cost terminal there. Maraming puwedeng maging partner and we are open to anybody," he said.

On Wednesday, SMC submitted to the government a proposal to construct an international airport that will be located along the Manila-Cavite Coastal Road at the waterfront reclamation project covering the cities of Paranaque and Las Pinas.

The proposed airport, which would be pursued as a build-operate-transfer (BOT) project, would be located on newly reclaimed land reaching 1,600 hectares and would be separated from adjacent areas by drainage channel.

The airport layout plan is based on an international and domestic passenger handling capacity of 75 million passengers per year, with scalability to cater to more than 100 million a year.

Separate passenger terminal facilities are planned for full-service and low-cost airlines. The terminals will have up to 164 contact gates serviced by protected passenger boarding bridges and walkways.

Once built, the new airport can accommodate all international and domestic operations at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). International and domestic operations will be co-located allowing for more convenient international-domestic connect times.

The new airport would be only 11 minutes away from the Makati Central Business District via a new Airport Expressway rail service, allowing it better access than airports in Bangkok, Hong Kong, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

The proposed Airport Expressway would be 15-kilometers long, providing quick access to Fort Bonifacio, Ortigas and Eastwood as well as an alternative route to the Makati.

The main airport access can be via C5 and East-West direction, directly connecting the proposed new airport to Fort Bonifacio, Ortigas and Eastwood. This route would also lead to Makati via Kalayaan Road.

SMC has a 49 percent stake in Philippine Airlines Inc (PAL), which the food-and-beverage conglomerate acquired from tycoon Lucio Tan, who still holds the remaining 51 percent of the flag carrier.

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