Construction of Bulacan Airport to begin before end of 2019

CLARK FREEPORT ZONE, Pampanga — Construction of Bulacan Airport is set to begin before the end of the year.

This after Department of Transportation (DOTr) concluded the Swiss Challenge today for the unsolicited proposal of San Miguel Holdings Corporation (SMHC).

In the opening of bids conducted by DOTr’s Bids and Awards Committee (BAC), there were no rivals to challenge the original proponent for the construction, operation and maintenance of the international airport.

In a statement, Assistant Secretary for Procurement and Project Implementation and BAC Chair Giovanni Lopez said the Notice of Award to SMHC will be issued immediately after a recommendation from the Technical Working Group is made within three days. It will then be submitted by BAC to the DOTr Aviation and Airports Sector within five days. 

“On the notice of award, there are some conditions that should be complied with. These include post performance security, proof of commitment, among others as stated in the law. They (SMHC) have 20 days to do so,” Lopez explained.

Once the Notice to Proceed is issued between August and the first week of September, SMHC shall then be in charge of the financing, design, construction, operation and maintenance of Bulacan Airport. 

For his part, Secretary Arthur P. Tugade expressed enthusiasm with the progress on the airport project. 

“This new international airport is important in helping ease the congestion of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Together with the expansion of Clark Airport and the construction of additional facilities at Sangley Airport, Bulacan Airport is part of ‘baskets of solutions’ to bring further connectivity to the Filipino people,” Tugade said.

For his part, Undersecretary for Planning and Project Development Ruben Reinoso Jr. noted that the Bulacan Airport is part of a larger regional development plan for Central Luzon. 

“Along with other big-ticket infrastructure projects such as the Clark Airport expansion, North-South Commuter Railway, MRT-7 and the Subic-Clark Cargo Railway, the Bulacan Airport will help boost economic development in Region III,” Reinoso said. 

Bulacan Airport will have a design capacity of 100 million passengers per year but can be expanded to 200 million. With four parallel runways planned, it targets 240 aircraft movements per hour. 

The project will also include the construction of an 8.4-kilometer tollway that will connect the airport to the North Luzon Expressway in Marilao, Bulacan.

The new international gateway is expected to be operational within four to six years from the start of construction. SMHC is expected to break ground and start actual construction of the project before the end of this year.