The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said Friday it expects to attract more potential bidders for the modernization and privatization of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) despite the incident of baggage theft at Terminal 1 of the country’s main gateway.
Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista said during the pre-bid conference six groups bought bid documents for the P170.6-billion deal to rehabilitate, optimize and maintain NAIA as of Sept. 22.
Bautista identified the potential bidders as San Miguel Corp., India’s GMR Group, Manila International Airport Consortium, Spark 888 Management Inc., Asian Airport Consortium and Cengiz Insaat Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S.
“We’re very happy with the turnout. We are hoping that there will be some interested parties who will join the bidding process,” he said.
Bautista, when asked if the theft incident would affect the bidding process, said “it’s very sad and it’s disappointing considering that we are in this process of attracting investors, although I hope that this is an isolated case.”
He said the rehabilitation and operation of NAIA through a PPP arrangement represent a landmark opportunity for the country.
“It promises economic growth, improved infrastructure and a world-class travel experience. With the right private sector partner, we can unlock NAIA’s full potential, making it an example of progress and innovation,” he said.
“We are now at the bidding stage and we look forward to awarding this project soon,” Bautista said.
The bid submission is scheduled on Dec. 27, 2023, and the DOTr expects to award the contract by January 2024.
The DOTr and the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) serve as co-grantors for the project, which would have a 15-year concession and an option for a 10-year extension.
The NAIA project entails capital investment to improve the airport’s facilities in order to comply with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and other internationally accepted standards.
This means modernizing the terminals, optimizing and enhancing the capacity of the airport to 62 million passengers per annum, enhancing asset quality and passenger experience, improving the information and technology systems infrastructure, and ensuring reliable operations over the period of the concession.
The concessionaire will be responsible for both landside and airside operations of the NAIA. It will be required to undertake works to enhance the compliance, safety and security of the airport, optimize and boost airport capacity to cater to the increasing air traffic.