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MANILA - Philippine Airlines' planned international airport would likely be located in Bulacan, according to a CIMB report.
"The permanent solution for the congestion at Manila NAIA may ultimately come from a private sector proposal by San Miguel Corporation to the government to build a completely new airport on the outskirts of Metro Manila, in the province of Bulacan," CIMB said.
CIMB Group, which is a regional universal bank operating in high growth economies in Asean, recently bought part of the San Miguel group’s stake in Bank of Commerce.
The planned international airport is about 45 kilometers northwest of Makati City, and closer to Metro Manila than the Clark International Airport, which is 100 km from Makati, the report said.
"The Bulacan airport will also be linked to the Makati business district via a six-lane “skyway,” suggesting that access will be via an elevated highway in order to bypass Manila’s infamous traffic congestion," it added.
Ramon S. Ang, president of PAL and San Miguel had said the new airport will have four runways and will span 2,000 hectares.
Ang said PAL’s proposed airport would take a passenger to EDSA-Ayala in only 15 minutes through a skyway. The San Miguel group had also proposed to the government a new line of the light rail transit - the so-called MRT 7 - that would run from North Avenue in Quezon City to San Jose del Monte, Bulacan.
San Miguel had partnered with Citra Metro Manila Tollways Corp. to construct an elevated six-lane tollway from Buendia Avenue in Makati to Balintawak in Quezon City.
According to the CIMB report, San Miguel's plan is to have the new airport completed by 2015, with PAL potentially contributing $500m to the project together with SMC and other investors.
"A formal submission to the Philippine government will be put through in early-2013, with construction planned to begin in the later part of 2013 together with a South Korean contractor," the Malaysian bank said.
SMC wants the new airport to occupy a 4,000-hectare site, double the size of Clark’s Diosdado Macapagal International Airport, to have at least two and up to four runways, and a passenger terminal capacity of up to 100 million passengers a year, which is three times the present capacity of Manila NAIA and Clark DMIA combined, CIMB said.
It added that the plan envisions the Bulacan airport to handle 150 flights an hour, more than four times as many as Manila NAIA.
"If this proposal is accepted by the government, we expect PAL and AirPhil Express to move away from Manila NAIA, which could then free capacity for use by other airlines. Assuming that the project gets approved and then takes three years to build, airlines based at Manila NAIA may have to live with a congested airport until 2015-16, as the three decongestion projects we highlighted above would take time to be implemented and are only temporary solutions," CIMB said.
Last summer, Manila suffered from delayed and cancelled flights as the surge in air travel led to bottlenecks at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. The government has since ordered a reduction in traffic at NAIA as a stop-gap measure.
PAL's new airport project comes on the heels of its $7 billion deal to acquire 54 planes from Airbus, with delivery to start next year. Ang had said the airline will buy a total of 100 planes, 26 of which are long-range, wide-bodied models.
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