New Manila airport confirmed, as Baguio eyes return to flight network

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new manila airport and Baguio
An artist’s impression of the New Manila International Airport planned for Bulacan.

Work on a new Manila airport in Bulacan – to ease congestion at the rackety NAIA – will start this year, it has been announced.

The San Miguel Corp is set to win a contract to build and operate an airport project worth 735.6 billion pesos, a Department of Transportation spokesman said today (Wednesday, July 31).

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Dubbed the New Manila International Airport (NMIA), it will have a capacity of 100 million passengers per year which can later be expanded to 200 million.

With four parallel runways, it will aim for up to 240 aircraft movements per hour.

An 8.4km tollway connecting the airport to the North Luzon Expressway is also planned as part of the project.

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New Manila airport, and more…

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said: “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 a ‘basket of solutions’ to bring further connectivity to the Filipino people.”

The NMIA is expected to be operational within four to six years from the start of construction this year.

Flights to return to Baguio

new manila airport and Baguio
Baguio City’s Loakan Airport is currently used only by the Air Force and the presidential helicopter.

Also today, it has been announced that Baguio City’s Loakan Airport, which ceased commercial operations in the 1990s, may be restored.

City Mayor Benjamin Magalong has said he will meet DOTr officials today to discuss the proposal.

Built in 1934, Loakan Airport is the only airport in the Cordillera region. Commercial airplanes serviced the city but stopped after the devastation brought about by the 7.7 magnitude earthquake that hit Luzon in 1990.

Mayor Magalong said once the city had been granted permission to operate the airport, it would enter into a public/private partnership scheme to deliver the project.

Once operational, the airport would cater to domestic flights. This would drastically cut travel time to the ‘Summer Capital of the Philippines’ and also help decongest the winding roads of the region.

At present, the Airport is used only by the Philippine Air Force and the presidential helicopter.

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