Sangley Airport Is It!

SMC To Bid Airport Project

By Kris Bayos
3 July 2014

It’s final. The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) has chosen Sangley Point in Cavite City as the location of the new airport, virtually shelving SMC proposal to build similar infrastructure on reclaimed land in Manila Bay.

Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said the DOTC will adopt the recommendation of the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to build Manila’s next international gateway in Cavite. The announcement was made after San Miguel Corporation (SMC) failed to formally present its plan to build a $10-billion airport at Manila Bay.

“Our Planning Department requested SMC for a full and proper presentation of their proposal. Our two requests were either turned down or ignored. We won’t be insisting for the third time,” Abaya said.

Earlier, businessman Ramon Ang personally presented SMC’s plan to construct a modern airport along Manila Bay in a meeting with President Aquino last May. SMC’s proposed four-runway hub was designed to either complement or replace the aging Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

“We weren’t sure why there is hesitation,” Abaya added. “They (SMC) have their own reasons and we don’t need to find out. So in the absence (of the SMC proposal), we will just pursue Sangley.”

Ang was quoted as saying earlier at the SMC Stockholders Meeting last June that they are amenable to bid out the contract to build and operate a new international airport even if the bids will involve different proposed sites.
“Bids can be for a new airport in Clark, Sangley or Metro Manila,” said Ang last month.

Ang said SMC’s plan for the new airport can be done in five to seven years. “We will start operations in the fifth year and it will be at full capacity of 150 million passengers a year by the seventh year,” he said.

The Cabinet official disclosed that the JICA site-selection study for the new airport in Manila had also considered Manila Bay but Sangley Point emerged as the best choice among seven locations.

“If you look at the JICA study, Manila Bay was also studied. Among seven locations, Sangley ranked on top after all factors were considered,” he said.

Although JICA is already working on the feasibility study of constructing a new airport in Sangley Point, Abaya clarified that the project is still subject to the approval of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board, which is chaired by the President.

“We are pursuing Sangley (as the location). (JICA) will finish the feasibility study and (DOTC) will eventually get NEDA Board approval,” the official said.

Abaya also said DOTC is studying the appropriate funding structure for the project slated for construction in 2017 considering the huge cost of building a new international airport.

“Considering the huge cost, it is possible that the General Appropriations Act (GAA), Official Development Assistance (ODA), or Public-Private Partnership (PPP) will all have a component (to fund),” he said. The SMC airport will cost $10 billion and the same cost is estimated for the airport to be constructed in Sangley Point.

The NEDA Board will also decide on the fate of NAIA once the new airport is built.  DOTC expects NAIA to hit its maximum capacity between 2018 or 2020.

According to a 2011 JICA study, annual passenger forecasts for the Greater Capital Region will rise from 49.8 million in 2020 to 75 million in 2030, shooting up to 106.7 million in 2040.  In 2012, total traffic recorded in the region was already at 31.879 million. The greater capital region covers the National Capital Region and Regions 3 and 4A.

To meet the expected volumes, the DOTC has identified two viable options. Both will involve the expansion of Clark International Airport (CIA) in Pampanga, and the development of a new international airport in Manila.


  1. Lets hope this goes through... it would be nice, but make a world class airport.. not average design, learn from incheon t2,beijing dubai or doha.. by spending 10$bn u can get worlds best airport.. use it wisely when they start planning.

  2. I hope the gov't won't get money from the funds that will be used. Kaya siguro di pumayag sa proposal ng SMC kasi wala sila makukuha.

  3. I hope SMC wins the bid for this so they can build their planned $10b dollar airport which I see is a world class airport and I think it might beat HKIA, Changi and Incheon.

    1. It might be , but the talented filipino airport workers are abroad and not in Manila. Lets hope new manila airport can be at the standards of dubai airport or incheon, changi.

  4. world class airport for $10b dollar??? They can not even maintain the old MIA airport properly or connect Clark / Manila with a simple Train-Shuttle…

    1. With $10bn u can get worlds best airport with the right contractors and architects. Lets just hope this project wont turn into a fiasco. And lets hope Incheon group will help develop this project. Their new T2 is amazing, for me the best design. Youtube it...

  5. For the construction of this airport on Sangley, will they use the proposal of SMC?

  6. I guess it'll become world class if it will be maintained by private company not by the government... Especially SMC!

  7. What does "SMC To Bid Airport Project" stands for?

  8. May I see ARRC's actual proposal for Sangley Point International Airport?

  9. SMC, why don't you present your airport plan formally? Wasted.