February 25, 2018, 12:51 am
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P350B rehab for NAIA

Seven of the country’s  conglomerates have submitted an unsolicited proposal to transform Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) into fully integrated premier gateway and regional hub at a cost of P350 billion.

The NAIA consortium -- which has  a combined capitalization of over P2.2 trillion and   composed of Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc. of the Aboitiz family;  AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp. of Zobel-led Ayala Corp.; Alliance Global Group Inc. of Andrew Tan; Lucio Tan-led Asia’s Emerging Dragon Corp.; Filinvest Development Corp. of the Gotianuns; JG Summit Holdings Inc. of the Gokonweis and;  Pangilinan-led Metro Pacific Investments Corp.   -- on Monday  formally submitted its proposal to the  Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Manila International Airport Authority.

The proposal involves a 35-year concession period  covering  the construction, operation and maintenance of the airport.

In a press conference  yesterday, Jose Emmanuel Reverente consortium spokesperson, said the project is  divided into two phases: Phase 1 which requires P100 billion in investment will expand the existing passenger terminals to accommodate up to 65 million passengers per year from approximately 42 million passenger currently.

Phase 2, which requires P250 billion in investments, involves the constructions of a third runway the location of which would be determined in coordination with the government.

This would further expand the airport capacity to 100 million passengers, Reverente added.

Phase 2 also involves the development of  taxiways, passenger terminals and associated support infrastructure.

It has  chosen Changi Airports International Pte.  of Singapore as technical partner  to  provide technical support in the areas of master planning, operations optimization and commercial development, 

The consortium is committed to the development of a modern airport complex that will meet the long-term passenger demand at NAIA.

“Through this proposal, we envision a new NAIA: a fully-integrated premier gateway that we Filipinos can truly be proud of,  backed by the know-how of an experienced technical partner and the strong synergy of seven homegrown teams. The message is clear: we need this, and we can get this done,” said Reverente. 

Reverente said  the proposal includes a people-mover that would link all three terminals and connect NAIA to the existing mass transport system in Metro Manila, as well as an option for a third runway.

 “The proposal involves expanding and interconnecting the existing terminals of NAIA, upgrading airside facilities, and developing 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,” Reverente said.

Passenger traffic in NAIA will continue to grow significantly over the coming years and the existing runway configuration may be unable to accommodate the future flows. 

Construction of the additional runway will ensure the ability of NAIA to serve as Manila’s gateway for years to come, bringing potential capacity up to 100 million passengers per year.

The upgrades will elevate NAIA to the level of major regional airports such as Changi in Singapore and Suvarnabhumi  in Bangkok and will become a viable transit hub for the Asean region.

 “Given the full support and commitment of each of the seven consortium members and the existing infrastructure already in place, the project implementation can be expedited. Immediate enhancements and capacity upgrades can be expected within a couple of years, followed by further expansion to be completed shortly after,” Reverente said. 

 NAIA has been operating beyond its capacity of  30 million passenger, ending last year with around 42 million passenger,  with 40 landing and take-off  movements per hour.

Reverente said the group is optimistic  the government will approve the project soon .

“As soon as the government reviews our proposal, hopefully they could grant us the original proponent status for this project, “ Reverente said.

In this case, the proposal will go through  a Swiss challenge under the BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) law.

Meanwhile, a consortium of  Megawide Construction Corp. and state-run Social Security System (SSS) also intends to submit an unsolicited proposal for the rehabilitation of NAIA.

 Louie Ferrer, Megawide chief marketing officer said  “Megawide GMR intends to participate in the development and rehabilitation of Philippine airports and this still includes NAIA. The government and the people now have the choice between a number of airport proposals and which ones offer the best value. This kind of competition is healthy for the infrastructure sector.”

“Our participation comes from our experience in operating and developing Mactan-Cebu Airport, which has transformed from a small airport into one of the best in Asia Pacific in the category of less than 10 million passengers. Our understanding of passenger behavior and stakeholder capabilities has allowed us to increase connections and passenger numbers. We have a solid engineering background through the construction of Terminal 2, and a partner whose airports are consistently named among the world’s best,” Ferrer added.
The  DOTr is encourageing airlines to transfer some of their flights to Clark International Airport and other hub to help decongest NAIA.

To address the worsening congestion in NAIA and address the anticipated growth in traffic in next 10 years, the  government has awarded the original proponent status to San Miguel Corp to build new international gateway in Bulacan.
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