DOTr: Swiss challenge for NAIA rehab by Q1

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    The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is targeting to conduct the Swiss challenge for the P102-billion rehabilitation and upgrade of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) by first quarter of 2020, following the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board’s recent approval.

    With the government approval, the consortium of seven conglomerates at the helm of the NAIA rehabilitation project was given the go-ahead to proceed, subject to a Swiss challenge.

    Ruben Reinoso, DOTr undersecretary for planning, said the Swiss challenge is targeted in the first quarter next year.

    Prior to the Swiss challenge, the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), as the primary grantor, and the NAIA Consortium must negotiate the terms and condition of the concession agreement based on the parameters prescribed by the NEDA Board.

    “MIAA still has to negotiate based on NEDA Board parameters and report back to NEDA Board the results of the negotiation. MIAA has 80 days to complete negotiations. Then, draft concession agreement (CA) will be submitted to Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) and Department of Finance (DOF) for comments before commencement of the Swiss challenge,” Reinoso said.

    MIAA will then submit the results of the negotiation to the NEDA Board and the negotiated draft CA to the OSG and the DOF for comments within 10 days from receipt of the draft CA.

    Thereafter, MIAA and the consortium shall issue the Certificate of Successful Negotiations and subsequently, the project will undergo a Swiss challenge where other firms can submit more competitive counter-proposals. If there are none, only then can the NAIA Consortium be awarded the contract and proceed.

    The consortium is comprised of Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc., AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp., Alliance Global Group Inc., Asia’s Emerging Dragon Corp., Filinvest Development Corp., JG Summit Holdings Inc. and Metro Pacific Investments Corp.

    Arthur Tugade, DOTr secretary, and Mark Villar, Department of Public Works and Highways secretary, welcomed this positive turn in the project’s development.

    “We will soon see much-improved air traffic handling and operations once NAIA is rehabilitated. The improvement of the country’s primary gateway is proof that the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte is seriously thinking of the convenience and safety of every air passenger who is either flying off or arriving in our country,” said Tugade.

    “Approval of the NAIA rehabilitation plan gives the other key government infrastructure projects that are now in the infrastructure cluster pipeline, a much-needed boost. This is a very positive development as far as fast-tracking our infrastructure backlogs is concerned,” Villar said.

    Primary objective of the project is to help alleviate the worsening air traffic congestion at NAIA and solve its capacity constraint by reconfiguring and renovating existing facilities and enhancing operation and maintenance (O&M). This will allow for the accommodation of more traffic.

    The project also aims to broaden NAIA’s role as a key economic and tourism driver for 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; deliver best-in-class passenger experience as a capital city airport, which is demanded by increasingly sophisticated travelers; and create a positive first and last impression for Filipinos and visitors.

    The NAIA rehabilitation project will be implemented in three phases from 2021 to 2024.

    Phase 1 (2021-2022) involves the immediate improvements and reconfiguration of the existing airport terminals to improve NAIA’s capacity from 31 million passengers per annum (MPPA) to 47 MPPA.

    Phase 2 (2022-2023) covers the development of a new passenger building (Terminal 2 Annex) and improvement of the corresponding apron area to increase the capacity from 11 MPPA to 21 MPPA, and the reconfiguration and expansion of the Terminal 3 building and apron layout to increase terminal capacity from 23 MPPA to 24 MPPA at the security control, baggage reclaim, and boarding areas; and improvement of airside facilities including the construction of a new taxiway, and installation and upgrading of Communications, Navigation, Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) equipment to provide better accessibility and flow of air traffic and to increase capacity in terms of air traffic movement; and upgrading works for general utilities, car park area, passenger connections and miscellaneous facilities required for airport operations.

    Phase 3 (2023-2024) will see the construction of new terminals and expansion of existing terminals as the O&M works are being carried out to increase NAIA’s capacity from 58 to 65 MPPA.

    Phase 3 will also see the completion of a New Terminal Annex Building which aims to add 5 MPPA to NAIA’s capacity, resulting in a total terminal capacity of 26 MPPA.

    In addition, Phase 3 will increase the capacity of Terminal 3 by 2 MMPA, resulting in total terminal capacity of 26 MPPA. There will also be a development of airside facilities and upgrading works for general utilities, a car park area, passenger connection, and miscellaneous facilities corresponding to the increased capacity. — Myla Iglesias