The P350-billion project will improve and expand the current NAIA terminals under the first phase, while the second phase will involve the construction of a second runway, which will raise the airport’s capacity to 100 million passengers per year, the consortium said in a statement.
Super consortium submits P350-B proposal for NAIA uplift
Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - February 14, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A super consortium  of seven  conglomerates formally submitted yesterday a P350-billion proposal to transform the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) into a regional airport hub.  

The P350-billion project will improve and expand the current NAIA terminals under the first phase, while the second phase will involve the construction of a second runway, which will raise the airport’s capacity to 100 million passengers per year, the consortium said in a statement.

Aboitiz Infra Capital Inc., AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp., Alliance Global Group Inc., AEDC, Filinvest Development Corp., JG Summit Holdings Inc. and Metro Pacific Investment Corp., the seven partners that have a combined capitalization of over P2.2 trillion, also signed a memorandum of agreement formalizing the consortium.

The consortium has tapped Changi Airports International Pte. Ltd. to provide technical support in the areas of master planning, operations optimization and commercial development.

Jose Emmanuel Reverente, NAIA Consortium spokesperson and vice president at Aboitiz InfraCapital said in a press conference yesterday the proposal would be over a 35-year concession period.

The first phase involves improvements and expansion of terminals in the current NAIA land area which would cost P100 billion and be completed within 48 months.

Upon completion of Phase 1, Reverente said the NAIA would have a capacity of 65 million passengers per year, double the current capacity of 30 million.

Phase 2, meanwhile, will involve the development of an additional runway, taxiways, passenger terminals and associated support infrastructure.

Reverente said the timeline for Phase 2 is still under discussion as the consortium would have to work with government on how to go about the additional runway for the NAIA.

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

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

 “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,” Reverente said.

When the upgrades are completed, the NAIA is expected to be on the same footing as major regional airports such as Changi in Singapore and Suvarnabhumi in Bangkok in Thailand, and serve as a viable transit hub for Southeast Asia.

 “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.

Meanwhile, Megawide Construction Corp., the listed construction and engineering firm, is unfazed by the P350-billion proposal of the super consortium.  

The company and its Bangalore-based partner GMR still plans to submit its own proposal to redevelop NAIA,  Louie Ferrer, president of the GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. said in a text message yesterday. 

 “Yes, we still intend to participate. But we’re currently evaluation our best options,” Ferrer said.

He said the government and the people now have the choice between a number of airport proposals and which ones offer the best value.

Megawide once defeated some of the members of the super consortium when it won the bid to develop the Mactan-Cebu International Airport in 2014.

 “This kind of competition is healthy for the infrastructure sector,” Ferrer said.

 In a separate statement, he offered his compliments to the super consortium for submitting a knowledgeable proposal.

 “I believe the willingness of its members to invest in Philippine airports gives a lot of confidence to investors and the international community. We have a lot of respect for the track record of these companies and their commitment to uplifting the lives of Filipinos,” he said.

Ferrer said the Megawide-GMR consortium already has the experience in running an airport as it has done in transforming the once small Mactan-Cebu airport into one of the best in the 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. Not only that, 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 said.

 “I have to say, this really is an exciting time for Philippine airports. As a Filipino I’m happy to see this level of participation from the business sector. It’s about time our airports have this kind of support and attention. The Philippines really has the best potential operators for NAIA,” he added.

NAIA, which traces its history to as early as 1948, was built  to handle 30 million passengers but is currently handling nearly 40 million passengers.

Experts have noted the need to enhance the runway and terminal capacities at NAIA to provide much needed additional capacity until a new airport is ready. 

The Duterte administration has vowed to usher in the so-called golden age of infrastructure in the country with the development of new roads, bridges and airports with the help of the private sector.  –with Iris Gonzales

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