Chinese-Filipino Consortium To Build New $10-Billion Airport Serving Metro Manila
Dec 18, 2019

China Communications Construction Co Ltd and Philippine partner Macroasia Corp., an airline service company owned by Lucio Tan, chairman of national carrier Philippine Airlines, have won an auction for a $10-billion airport construction project outside Metro Manila, the latest in a multi-billion dollar push by the Philippines to modernise and decongest its overstretched infrastructure.

The outcome came as no surprise since the joint-venture was the only bidder. The companies will – together with the Cavite provincial government – carry out the expansion of the Sangley Point Airport which was opened in November 2019 as a domestic gateway and extension of the existing Danilo Atienza Air Base and currently serves Southern Luzon and the Greater Manila Area with turboprops and general aviation through PAL Express and CebGo.

The expansion of the airport to the Sangley Point International Airport is the Cavite government’s response to congestion in Ninoy Aquino International Airport, which is located at a straight line distance of about 11-kilometers away. It will require the reclamation of over 1,400 hectares of land around the current Danilo Atienza Air Base.

Four runways and terminals for 100 million passengers

Eventually, the facility will be turned into a massive international air hub with four runways and terminals capable of handling 100 million passengers annually— three times the design limits of Ninoy Aquino International Airport. The Cavite government said the first phase of the international airport could be opened as early as 2022 with a capacity of 25 million passengers annually.

Plans are to connect Sangley Point International Airport at first by bus or ferry with SM Mall of Asia in Pasay and eventually construct either an underwater tunnel to Manila Bay or an extension of the Manila-Cavite Expressway to connect the project to Metro Manila.

The size of CCCC’s stake in the Sangley project was not immediately clear. It follows similar attempts by China’s state-run telecoms and energy firms to enter the Philippines, a country with a history of close ties with the US and fragile relations with China.