Conglomerate Ayala Corp. said it remains interested in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport modernization project after the government revived offers for the redevelopment of the country’s main gateway.
Ayala chief finance officer Alberto de Larrazabal said in a recent interview the conglomerate was looking at the project, together with other members of the NAIA Consortium.
“It is something we are looking at. It obviously needs help, and if there is an opportunity for us, then we will gladly help the government,” De Larrazabal said.
“It will still be with the NAIA consortium,” De Larrazabal said, when asked if the company would participate in the NAIA modernization through the previously formed “super consortium”.
The NAIA Consortium, which included Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc., AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp., Alliance Global Group Inc., Asia’s Emerging Dragon Corp., Filinvest Development Corp. and JG Summit Holdings Inc., submitted a proposal to rehabilitate NAIA for P102 billion in 2018.
Members of the consortium dropped the project after two years of negotiations over unresolved issues with the government and the financial viability of the project amid the pandemic.
Megawide Construction Corp. and partner India-based GMR Infrastructure Ltd. also submitted a proposal to rehabilitate and upgrade NAIA for $3 billion with a contract period of 18 years.
The Marcos administration expressed willingness to entertain new proposals for the multibillion-peso rehabilitation and upgrade of the NAIA.
The project aims to alleviate the worsening air traffic congestion at the main gateway and resolve capacity constraints by reconfiguring and renovating facilities and enhancing operation and maintenance. This will allow for the accommodation of more traffic.
The rehabilitation project also aims to broaden NAIA’s role as a key economic and tourism driver for Metro Manila and the whole Philippines, deliver capital infrastructure investment to improve the airport’s efficiency and increase its capacity to meet the growing passenger demand from the Philippines and the Asia Pacific region.
The Department of Transportation signed last week three transaction advisory service agreements with the Asian Development Bank to expedite the privatization of the operations and maintenance of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and development of two major railway projects.
DOTr Secretary Jaime Bautista said the agency was working with the ADB in preparing the terms of reference for the NAIA operation’s privatization. He said only the operations and maintenance would be privatized, but the regulatory function would remain with the government.
“The government will have a say in the rates that the operators will impose,” said Bautista, a former president of Philippine Airlines, said.