Philippines’ USD10bn airport project scrapped: politics?

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Manila has long been regarded as an underachiever in aviation terms, the creaking Ninoy Aquino airport transporting far fewer passengers than peers at Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong, despite a high population to call on.

Expansion at Ninoy Aquino and at Clark International, formerly a US military airbase, was going some way to redressing the issue. But then along came not one, but two, proposals for new airports, each to handle 100 million or more passengers each year.

One of them, at Sangley Point, has been put on the back burner, although there will be a fresh tender.

But the hidden reason for the original process being cancelled suggests that Chinese firms, especially state-owned ones, may be about to find it more difficult to secure foreign airport development contracts.

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