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Great things are coming to Bulacan. One of these is the New Manila International Airport, a project with San Miguel Corporation set to open new avenues to Luzon.
A Fortuitous Team Up
The New Manila International Airport (NMIA), also known as the Bulacan International Airport Project, is a public-private partnership of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) with San Miguel Corporation (SMC). According to the Public-Private Partnership Center, the Notice of Award was issued to SMC on August 14, 2019. This project, which is estimated to cost P735 billion, shares TripZilla.ph, will serve 100 million passengers per year. In addition to aviation facilities, this partnership is set to construct an 8-kilometer road linking the airport to the North Luzon Expressway.
The preliminary designs released by SMC to major news outlets such as CNN Philippines showcase the airport’s planned four runways converging at a central terminal. Energy-efficient features such as large windows for maximizing natural light will be employed throughout the terminal. Construction of the first phase of the airport is slated to begin by the end of 2019.
Breathing Life into Greater Manila
The New Manila International Airport will be situated in the municipality of Bulakan, in the province of Bulacan. According to the PhilAtlas, Bulakan is merely 25 kilometers away from the boundary of Metro Manila, or the National Capital Region. The northern boundary of Metro Manila includes the cities of Valenzuela, Malabon and Navotas. The location of the New Manila International Airport will prove more convenient for travelers from these cities, who would otherwise have to rely on the Clark International Airport in Pampanga or the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Paranaque. It will also be a boon to businesses and enterprises situated in northern Metro Manila, especially those relying heavily on domestic or international travel and shipping.
The presence of the New Manila International Airport will also allow for the decongestion of the metropolis’ major international airport, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. At present, NAIA receives the bulk of both domestic and international carriers. The New Manila International Airport will be important not only in regular operations of air travel but also in managing contingencies such as diversions due to inclement weather or other emergencies.
A New Gateway to Region III
An additional benefit from the construction of the New Manila International Airport is the development it will bring to its neighbors in Bulacan. It will also benefit the cities of Malolos, Meycauayan and San Jose del Monte, as well as the municipalities of Guiguinto, Balagtas, Bocaue, Marilao, Santa Maria and Plaridel. The planned road connecting the airport to the North Luzon Expressway will provide an additional conduit for industries and commerce in the nearby cities and municipalities of Bulacan province, especially those in regular communication with Metro Manila to the south, or with the rest of Central Luzon to the north. The presence of the airport will also help boost tourism in Bulacan, especially in areas only previously accessible via a long drive through the North Luzon Expressway.
The New Manila International Airport will also be perfectly poised to boost commerce and tourism for the rest of Region III, or Central Luzon. Although the Clark International Airport in Angeles, Pampanga, is at present receiving both domestic and international carriers, the presence of the larger New Manila International Airport will help manage an increased influx of travelers to the region, both for business and leisure purposes. This is particularly important considering how much residential and industrial development has prospered not only in Pampanga, but also in the nearby provinces of Bataan, Zambales, Tarlac, and Nueva Ecija.
The soon-to-rise New Manila International Airport will support development in northern Metro Manila as well as in Bulacan province and the rest of Region III. This is in keeping with the push to develop in other urbanized centers outside of the main metropolis and to provide more opportunities in rural areas.
Sources: CNN Philippines, TripZilla.ph, Public-Private Partnership Center, PhilAtlas