Infrastructure News

04/12/2019

Philippines to launch Swiss challenge for US$14 billion Bulacan Airport

The Philippine´s Government is set to launch the Swiss challenge for the building and development of a New International Airport in Bulacan, a region in Central Luzon north of Manila.

The Department of Transportation is set to publish the Swiss Challenge documents for the PHP736 billion (US$14.18 billion) airport before the end of April 2019. A Swiss challenge will allow rival companies to challenge SMC’s proposal. The bidding rules give SMC a clear advantage as a preferred bidder since it will be given the right to match the best offer. The companies will have 60 days to give better offers than SMC´s proposal. Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said that “in the next 90 to 120 days you have the window upon which the formal and final approval of Bulacan airport would have been completed.”

The food and drinks conglomerate, San Miguel Corporation (SMC), has been awarded as the Original Proponent Status by the Transportation Department for the project. SMC proposed to construct and operate the airport for 50 years after completion. Initially, SMC said they will not require a partner to build the airport, but later, irrespective of the Swiss challenge procedure, they have signed an MoU with Incheon International Airport Corporation (IIAC) to collaborate on the development and operation of the new airport. IIAC intends to use their experience developing Seoul Incheon International Airport on reclaimed land.

The Bulacan Aiport will be located about 50km northwest of the Capital City, Manila. The airport will be built on a 2,500-hectare property in Bulakan and will be built in phases. The project involves the construction of a world-class international gateway with four to six parallel runways, modern terminals, a seaport, an industrial zone, and necessary infrastructure such as expressways. It will have a design capacity of over 100 million passengers yearly.

The Bulacan Aiport project is one of the few private sector-led initiatives to offer a solution to worsening air traffic around Manila metropolitan area and nearby provinces given congestion in Manila´s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia). The Bulacan airport is considered as a future replacement to Naia.