Megawide ready to accept fate over NAIA but…

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    Competition. Megawide says it can increase NAIA capacity from 45 million to 65 million passengers annually.

    Megawide Construction Corp. is ready to accept the fate of its proposal to rehabilitate the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA)  but warned of a monopoly if the proponent of another international airport will be allowed to take over the operation of the country’s major gateway.

    Megawide has yet to receive the government’s official response on the motion for reconsideration it filed last December 15 to hopefully revert the revocation of its original proponent status (OPS) for the NAIA project.

    “We are waiting for their (government) directions, whatever the decision of the grantor (Manila International Airport Authority or MIAA), we will respect their decision,” Edgar Saavedra, Megawide chairman and chief executive officer, said during the 2021 MAP webinar on upgrading the NAIA to World Standard.

    Last July, Megawide obtained the OPS to operate and rehabilitate NAIA, seven days after the government approached the company to pursue the NAIA project based on the terms and conditions approved by the National Economic and Development Authority Investment Coordination Committee.

    MIAA terminated the OPS last December without stating specific reasons, according to Megawide.

    “Currently, there is no official communication that we have received from them. The last communication we had last December there was a revocation and we filed for motion for reconsideration but supposedly MIAA will revert back, but we haven’t received any letter from them,” Saavedra said.

    Saavedra emphasized that NAIA should be rehabilitated, whether it will be Megawide or another company, but added if San Miguel Corp. (SMC), the project proponent of the Bulacan international airport, is allowed to operate NAIA, this would result in a monopoly or conflict of interest.

    “We believe what is good for the government or the Filipino, we need good competition from our point of view. If you will be the operator of Bulacan and you will be operator of NAIA, don’t you think that’s conflict of interest? It is for us. There should be competition as the more airports you have, the more players is better,” Saavedra said.

    Last December, MIAA announced that two firms submitted proposals for NAIA’s rehabilitation – SMC and Philippine Airport Ground Support Solution Inc.

    SMC submitted a proposal to purely undertake operation and maintenance of the airport to ensure that it operates better and more efficiently until its P740-billion Manila International Airport project in Bulacan is completed.

    Saavedra said NAIA should be rehabilitated. Megawide’s proposal said it can increase the airport’s capacity from 45 million to 65 million passengers by immediately addressing the airside and landside congestion.

    The company will also build a monorail to connect the four terminals of NAIA.

    Earlier, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said government is pushing to have multiple airports in the country by the end of the Duterte administration.

    DOTr decided to develop several airports near Metro Manila, including in Bulacan, the Clark International Airport, NAIA and Sangley International Airport, so passengers have options which airport and airlines to choose and to bring competition in the aviation industry for the benefit of the passengers.