MANILA, Philippines – Three foreign companies expressed interest in the P91.4-million consultancy contract to increase the runway capacity of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said the 3 firms included Mitre Corporation of the United States, NATS Ltd of the United Kingdom, and Copenhagen Airport of Germany.
DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said the agency would still pursue the runway optimization project despite two failed biddings.
“The likes of Mitre, NATS, and Copenhagen Airport have expressed interest. NATS in particular did a consultancy in Hong Kong and Singapore and they have increased movements by 20%,” Abaya said.
According to representatives from the UK-based NATS Ltd., it is possible to increase the capacity of the existing NAIA runway to between 50 and 60 movements per hour from the current 40 movements per hour, the transportation chief said.
“We need that kind of expertise to tell us what so we improve our movements per hour,” Abaya added.
Improving the airside capacity of the country’s main international gateway involves increasing runway movements, improving slot schedules, adding infrastructure, and upgrading technology.
Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) deputy director general Capt John Andrews earlier said airlines lose at least P7 billion a year because of congestion in NAIA.
To better accommodate an increasing number of passengers, the DOTC is also planning to push through with the construction of a 2.1-kilometer parallel runway, to be constructed south of the existing primary runway 06/24.
The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) said that passenger volume in the Philippines increased in the first quarter of 2014 to 9.65 million, up from 9.55 million in the same period last year.
International passenger traffic reached 4.50 million while domestic air traffic increased by 1.5% to 5.13 million.
“Growth has been slow but positive and we hope to improve it this year. The CAB will continue to support Philippine tourism and business travels through strategic and key bilateral aviation partnerships,” CAB Executive Director Carmelo Arcilla said.
A study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) showed that the number of passengers in Greater Capital Region would hit 106.7 million by 2040 – more than triple the 31.88 million recorded in 2012.
To address this, the DOTC is eyeing a new international airport by 2027 with the joint development of NAIA in Manila and the Clark International Airport in Pampanga.
Diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corporation also plans to put up an international airport in a 1,600-hectare property along the Manila-Cavite expressway coastal road. – Rappler.com