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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Conglomerates ready to start Naia expansion

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A consortium of seven conglomerates said it is ready to start the rehabilitation and expansion of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport once it obtains the green light from the government. 

“We are ready to start construction right after we get the notice to proceed and deliver the first phase of expanding Naia’s capacity by 2020. We can make this hope and dream into a reality in just two years’ time from NTP issuance,”  Naia Consortium spokesman Jimbo Reverente said.

The consortium’s members are Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc., AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp., Alliance Global Group Inc., AEDC, Filinvest Development Corp., JG Summit Holdings Inc. and Metro Pacific Investments Corp.

The consortium committed to spend P106 billion over the 15-year concession.

Reverente said the consortium could act quickly because it already had the design, the funds, the technical partner (Changi Airport) and the people to make Naia what it should be.

The airport’s four terminals handle far more passengers than they were built for. They have capacity for 31 million passengers per year but handled 42 million last year.  This is expected to increase to around 47 million by 2020.

The proposal promises to have a Naia capacity to match that 2020 projection and then bring its capacity up to 65 million by 2022.

 “We see a Naia that has more space to make flying a pleasant and memorable experience, just like when we go through airports abroad, including the one in Singapore which Changi Airport operates,” Reverente said.

He said “time is of the essence” because every year’s delay would cost the country opportunity losses in terms of trade, investments, and tourism as well as the jobs they were supposed to generate.

The consortium’s proposal, he said, would not need any government guarantee. As this is privately funded, the government can use its funds for other projects like building roads, bridges, schools and offering social services like free education, he said.

Reverente said the government and the private sector could work together on airport development for quick completion, as the stringent rules of the procurement law would not apply to private proponents.

“Only the grant of an original proponent status is needed for this private proposal to move forward,” he said.

The Transportation Department said last month it recommended to the Manila  International Airport Authority the issuance of OPS to Naia Consortium for the project. 

“We have a decision recommending the issuance of original proponent status to Naia Consortium. We gave the recommendation to MIAA because they are the primary agency, not the DOTr,” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade earlier said. 

The Naia Consortium proposed to expand and interconnect the existing terminals of Naia, upgrade airside facilities and develop commercial facilities to increase airline and airport efficiencies, enhance passenger comfort and experience and improve public perception of Naia as the country’s premier international gateway.


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