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DOTC set to bid out NAIA maintenance contract

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is set to bid out the operation and maintenance of the congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) within the year.

Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said the proposed NAIA operations and maintenance (O&M) project would be presented to the National Economic and Development Authority-Investment Coordination Committee (NEDA-ICC) for approval within the first half year.

Abaya pointed out that the government is just awaiting the completion of the feasibility study for the project before it is presented to the NEDA-ICC. He said “there will be a little resistance” to the project.

He said the privatization program would be patterned after the P16.5-billion Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) now turned over to the tandem of Bangalore-based GMR Infrastructure and Filipino-owned Megawide Construction Corp.

Under the scheme, employees of NAIA would either be absorbed by the winning bidder or given the chance to opt for early retirement.

The DOTC is looking at turning over the O&M of NAIA to the private sector before President Aquino steps down in 2016.

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The proposed O&M contract would be different from the planned redevelopment of NAIA under the public private partnership (PPP) scheme that involves expanding the airside and landside facilities to accommodate the expected rise in passenger traffic.

As early as 2012, NAIA had already breached its design capacity of 30 million passengers per year after it handled close to 32 million.

A study conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) showed that the number of passengers in Greater Capital Region or Metro Manila would hit 106.7 million by 2040 from 31.88 million in 2012.

It expects passengers from Metro Manila as well as Central Luzon and CALABARZON to rise steadily to 49.8 million in 2020, 75 million in 2030, and 106.7 million in 2040.

To meet these expected volumes, the government has identified two options – expansion of Clark International Airport (CIA) and the development of a new international airport roughly within 20 to 30 minutes from Metro Manila.

JICA is set to complete the feasibility study for the planned $10-billion international gateway in Sangley Point in Cavite in the middle of this year.

JICA was earlier looking at Sangley Airport in Cavite and Laguna de Bay as the possible site for the new international gateway to replace NAIA. Both locations entail massive reclamation as a new international airport requires at least 2,000 hectares in land area.

The DOTC wants to put into operation a new international airport by 2027 with the joint development of the congested NAIA in Manila and the Clark International Airport in Pampanga.


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