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Ang’s airport relocation plan sparks real estate speculations

By Ray Enano | Posted on September 27, 2012 | 12:01am
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San Miguel Corp. honcho Ramon S. Ang, or RSA, will be the last person to provide a clue on the location of an international airport that his conglomerate plans to build. Mr. Ang has his reasons—he has not completed the acquisition of the property that will host the new international airport and he does not want lot prices in the undisclosed area to spike up, until he nails pending transactions.

It may be too late for that. RSA’s announcement in late August about San Miguel’s plan to construct a new and modern international airport has sent real estate agents to a frenzied state. Speculators easily deduced that the new airport would take advantage of the road and rail networks that San Miguel planned to build in and at the oustskirts of Metro Manila.

The new airport, thus, could be located in the southern towns of Bulacan province, or in the proximity of northern Metro Manila. The facility, based on local aviation rules, should be at least 24 kilometers away from the nearest international airports to avoid congestion in air traffic. The Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Parañaque City is at least 30 kms away from the boundary of Bulacan and Quezon City while the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport is at least 60 kms farther from the southern edge of Bulacan.

Rail and road network

San Miguel’s plan to build a 14.2-km elevated, six-lane road project that will connect the North Luzon Expressway and the South Luzon Expressway and a separate 22-km train line from San Jose del Monte in Bulacan to the corner of North Avenue and Edsa in Quezon City will be the critical link to the new airport.

Airline passengers arriving at the new airport must be transported quickly to Metro Manila. San Miguel’s combined elevated road and train line will provide airline passengers a more flexible intercity travel.

Real estate speculators have initially pinpointed San Jose del Monte, Bulacan as the possible site of the new airport, which Ang wants to build on a 2,000-hectare property. Sources said San Miguel could be building a landbank in San Jose del Monte in preparation for the airport.

The city’s location is ideal—San Miguel’s planned MRT 7 railway project ends there from Edsa in Quezon City. The San Jose del Monte station will also serve as the intermodal transportation terminal of the MRT 7, where commuters traveling to the north can be linked by buses. Airline passengers arriving at the new airport in San Jose del Monte, meanwhile, can be ferried by a dedicated rail coach to parts of Metro Manila and San Miguel’s elevated road in Balintawak, Quezon City.

Coastal towns

Coastal towns or cities, however, offer a more ideal airport location. San Miguel’s planned airport in such coastal areas could serve as a full intermodal transportation hub, where buses, taxis, train, ships and ferryboats can fetch airline passengers to their destination.

At least five towns in Bulacan could host San Miguel’s international airport, although the conglomerate may need to reclaim parts of their coastal areas in Manila Bay. The towns of Bulacan, Obando, Paombong and Hagonoy and Malolos City hug the shoreline of the province and are close to the northern edge of Metro Manila.

They are just a few kilometers away from the Balintawak end of San Miguel’s tollway that starts from Buendia Avenue in Makati. The toll road, part of the 30-kilometer Metro Manila Skyway project package approved by the government in 1995, will have exits in Quirino in Manila and Plaza Dilao, Aurora Boulevard, E. Rodriguez Ave., Quezon Boulevard, Sgt. Rivera and Balintawak in Quezon City.

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