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Saturday, July 13, 2024

NAIA concessionaires told to vacate offices, stalls for airport rehab

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Several Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) concessionaires and operators have been asked to find new office locations as the New NAIA Infrastructure Corp. (NNIC) is set to take over the airport’s operational management on September 14.

Sources told Manila Standard that the private business establishments received a 40-day “notice to vacate” last month.

A few weeks before these notices were issued, the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) sent a memorandum to all airport concessionaires and operators.

The memorandum, signed on May 16 by Josephine Mosot, Officer-In-Charge of MIAA Business Development and Concessions Management Department, informed them that General Manager Eric Jose C. Ines would like to meet with the owners/proprietors or store managers of all stores doing business with MIAA.

The purpose of the meeting is to “discuss pressing matters regarding the NAIA Public-Private Partnership.”

The NNIC is in coordination with MIAA on the relocation of the affected employees who work for the airlines, restaurants, and other companies renting offices and stalls at the airport.

The transfer will impact thousands of employees, many of whom are also renting houses, apartments, and condominium units near the airport. 

For instance, around 500 employees of a local airline based in NAIA Terminal 3 will need to move to a new office. This move will also require them to find new living arrangements.  

Airport insiders said there are concerns about the lack of a “concrete plan” for the transfer or relocation and its impact on the affected concessionaires and employees.

Additionally, there are uncertainties about media coverage at the airport under the new management, as the accreditation ID for in-house media was only renewed until September, instead of the usual one-year renewal period given by MIAA.

The turnover of airport operations to NNIC is expected to lead to an increase in terminal fees in 2025.

The rehabilitation agreement signed by MIAA, the Department of Transportation, and the San Miguel Corporation-led consortium was described by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as badly needed given the “poor state” of the country’s main international airport.

“The reputation of this airport has been shredded, and let us be frank about it, not by bad press, but by its actual poor state,” the President said.

“So, it’s really important that we fix this now,” he added.

At present, NAIA is operating beyond its designed capacity of 35 million passengers, clogging air traffic and causing frequent flight delays.

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