Aboitiz sees airport projects as attractive infra ventures

Catherine Talavera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The infrastructure arm of the Aboitiz Group said it remains open to opportunities in various projects, but stressed that airport ventures remain more attractive as there are no right of way (ROW) issues involved.

On the sidelines of the Arangkada forum yesterday, Aboitiz InfraCapital chief operating officer Cosette Canilao told reporters that the company continues to look for opportunities to submit proposals for infrastructure projects.

Canilao said the company has already submitted unsolicited proposals for three airport projects, namely the Bohol-Panglao International Airport, the Laguindingan Airport and the Bicol International Airport.

She added that the firm is also part of the consortium that submitted an unsolicited proposal for the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

Canilao said while the company continues to bank on airport projects, it remains open to opportunities for other infrastructure projects.

“We’re looking at it (other infrastructure projects),” she said.

The company official emphasized that among the factors that make airport projects attractive is the absence of ROW issues.

“The risks attached to it that other road or railway projects have,is not here,” Canilao said, adding that ROW issues can really delay the completion of projects.

“And then like I mentioned, airport projects have commercial sources – we call it non-aero or commercial revenues. So that makes it attractive for us,” she added.

Earlier this month, Canilao said the group is still studying whether or not it will participate in the development of the Sangley airport in Cavite.

She said potential issues of monopoly should they join the Sangley project is also being considered.

“That’s one of the things we are looking at, what are the restrictions because we have an unsolicited proposal in NAIA,” Canilao said.

Aboitiz InfraCapital is a member of a consortium of seven conglomerates seeking to rehabilitate, operate, and expand the congested NAIA. Their proposal is now up for National Economic and Development Authority board approval.

“We’re looking at the structure. We’re looking at what we can and what we cannot do, given that we have this unsolicited proposal for NAIA,” she said.

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