NAIA Consortium wants to link airport to Metro Manila Subway, LRT1

Chrisee Dela Paz
NAIA Consortium wants to link airport to Metro Manila Subway, LRT1
Part of the consortium's proposal is a transit system or 'people mover' that would connect the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to the planned Metro Manila Subway and existing Light Rail Transit Line 1

MANILA, Philippines – All passenger terminals of the nation’s busiest gateway, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), would be accessible via the planned Metro Manila Subway and the existing Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT1), should the government push through with the P350-billion NAIA upgrade proposal of 7 local conglomerates.

The NAIA Consortium, which is composed of 7 of the country’s biggest conglomerates, seeks to connect NAIA to the planned subway and LRT1 by building a transit system or “people mover.”

“It won’t necessarily be a monorail. It could be light rail. We target to put it in place by 2022,” NAIA Consortium spokesperson Jose Emmanuel Reverente said in a media briefing on Wednesday, March 21.

The transit system would form part of the consortium’s P350-billion proposal to upgrade, operate, and maintain NAIA for 35 years.

The 7 partners are 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. 

Singapore’s Changi Airports International Private Limited serves as the NAIA Consortium’s technical consultant.

“The airport people mover will connect you from NAIA Terminal 1 to Terminal 2, and then underground to Terminal 3,” Reverente said.

You don’t have to exit [the] NAIA complex,” he added, just to move from one terminal to another.

PEOPLE MOVER. The NAIA Consortium is planning to build a 5-kilometer people mover that would link the airport terminals and connect NAIA to the planned Metro Manila Subway and existing LRT1. Image from NAIA Consortium

Citing a Department of Transportation (DOTr) letter dated March 12, the NAIA Consortium said it has hurdled the “completeness review” of the unsolicited proposal. This means its proposal is now being reviewed by the department.

Under the implementing rules and regulations of the build-operate-transfer (BOT) law, the first complete proposal should be evaluated and decided upon. The second complete proposal will only be entertained if the first one is rejected.

The law states that the second complete proposal can be considered if there is a failure in the negotiation of the first proposal.

Should the DOTr reject the NAIA Consortium’s proposal, under the law, it will consider and review the unsolicited proposal of another group – listed Megawide Construction Corporation and its Bangalore-based partner GMR Infrastructure Limited.

It was just on March 1 when Megawide and GMR submitted a $3-billion (P155.97-billion), 18-year unsolicited proposal to rehabilitate, develop, operate, and maintain the dilapidated NAIA.

GMR-Megawide’s proposal provides a lower project cost and shorter concession period compared to that of the NAIA Consortium, which earmarked P350 billion and set 35 years of concession for the project.

While the NAIA Consortium’s proposal provides an option for a 3rd NAIA runway, GMR-Megawide said it is “unviable” to set up another runway at the airport.

“It is urgent for the country to get this project going because doing nothing as a result of a long approval process will set all of us back,” Reverente said.

NAIA, designed to handle only 31 million passengers, is expected to accommodate 47 million in 2019. It accommodated a total of 42 million passengers in 2017, data from the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) showed. –

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