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SMC, Ayala keen on bidding for NAIA upkeep

The deal, which could be implemented within three years, seeks to improve the safety and security, as well as maximize the capacity of the country’s main international gateway by  putting up infrastructure or assets for air traffic and land side management.

Three-way battle looms

MANILA, Philippines – Two of the country’s biggest conglomerates San Miguel Corp. (SMC) and Ayala Corp. are interested to bid for the upgrade, operations and maintenance contract for the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang told reporters on the sidelines of the signing of the agreement on the location of a common rail station the company is interested to participate in the bidding for the P74.6 billion NAIA development project.

“We will join all the bidding to support the government,” he said.

For its part, Ayala Corp. managing director Rene Almendras said the company is studying the project and talking to both local and international firms which could serve as partners should it decide to bid for the project.

“We are definitely looking at it. I’ve actually been traveling. I met a few foreign partners abroad. Yes, we are looking. So there’s many people who will be looking. We want to make sure we put a good team. It’s a complex project,” Almendras said.

Last week, Metro Pacific Investments Corp. chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said the infrastructure conglomerate is also looking to bid for the NAIA project.

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The project was approved by the National Economic and Development Authority Board during its meeting held last Sept.14.

The deal, which could be implemented within three years, seeks to improve the safety and security, as well as maximize the capacity of the country’s main international gateway by  putting up infrastructure or assets for air traffic and land side management.

Apart from the development of the airport, the private partner will also operate and maintain the NAIA according to international standards.

Under the deal, the concession period covers 15 to 20 years, including the design or construction.

Procurement for the project is expected to begin soon, while the award and signing of the concession agreement are seen to take place by September next year.

Roberto Lim, Transport undersecretary for the air sector has said easing the congestion at the NAIA is among the priorities of the Department of Transportation.

There is an overconcentration of flights in Manila as it serves 87 percent of all Philippine air traffic.

Last year, all four terminal terminals of the NAIA also served over 36 million passengers, higher than the airport’s annual maximum capacity of 35 million passengers.

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