'Super consortium' formalizes P350-billion NAIA rehab proposal
MANILA, Philippines – Seven of the country's top conglomerates formalized their P350-billion proposal to rehabilitate, expand, operate, and maintain the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) for 35 years.
NAIA Consortium spokesperson Jose Emmanuel Reverente said on Tuesday, February 13, that his group formally submitted its unsolicited proposal to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Monday, February 12.
The 7 partners – Aboitiz InfraCapital Incorporated, AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation, Alliance Global Group Incorporated, Asia's Emerging Dragon Corporation, Filinvest Development Corporation, JG Summit Holdings Incorporated, and Metro Pacific Investments Corporation – have a combined capitalization of over P2.2 trillion.
The consortium has also teamed up with Singapore's Changi Airports International Private Limited, which would provide technical support in the areas of master planning, operations optimization, and commercial development.
"We vow to transform NAIA into a regional airport hub and to ensure that NAIA would have the capacity to meet the continued growth in passenger traffic," Reverente said in a press conference in Makati City.
The NAIA Consortium will be competing with the group of public-private partnership (PPP) frontrunner Megawide Construction Corporation and the state-owned Social Security System (SSS), which had also expressed plans of submitting an unsolicited proposal to rehabilitate and operate NAIA.
"Megawide-GMR intends to participate in the development and rehabilitation of Philippine airports and this still includes NAIA. The government and the people now have the choice between a number of airport proposals and which ones offer the best value," Megawide chief marketing officer Manuel Louie Ferrer said on Tuesday.
"This kind of competition is healthy for the infrastructure sector," Ferrer added.
3rd runway option
According to the NAIA Consortium, the airport rehabilitation and expansion deal will be divided into two phases:
- improvement and expansion of terminals in the current NAIA land area
- development of an additional runway, taxiways, passenger terminals, and associated support infrastructure
Reverente told reporters on the sidelines that the consortium would need an additional 250,000 square meters to expand NAIA. But the location has "yet to be determined," he said.
The consortium spokesperson added that the proposal includes ways to link all 3 terminals and connect NAIA to the existing mass transport system in Metro Manila, as well as an option for a 3rd runway.
Passenger traffic to NAIA is expected to continue to grow significantly over the coming years and the existing runway configuration may be unable to accommodate the future flows, Reverente said.
"Construction of the additional runway will ensure the ability of NAIA to serve as Manila's gateway for years to come, bringing potential capacity up to 100 million passengers per year," he added.
For the consortium, its planned NAIA upgrades would elevate the dilapidated airport to the level of major regional gateways, like Changi in Singapore and Suvarnabhumi in Bangkok, becoming a viable transit hub for Southeast Asia.
Most of the conglomerates in the consortium previously expressed interest in the P74.56-billion project to privatize and expand NAIA, which the government put on hold earlier this year until it comes up with a holistic approach to redevelop key airports. – Rappler.com