Megawide to jumpstart NAIA modernization plan
Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) - September 28, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The COVID-19 pandemic compels governments and the airline sector to modernize airport facilities, experts across the globe said.

In Europe, there are calls to improve air traffic control to ensure business continuity once the  situation normalizes, according to AviationPros.

Megawide Construction Corp., the listed engineering company and airport operator which bagged the original proponent status to rehabilitate NAIA, said it is ready to jumpstart its $2 billion modernization plan for the country’s gateway.

“This is the best time to redevelop NAIA while air traffic movements and foot traffic inside the terminals are still limited,” Megawide chairman Edgar Saavedra said in an interview last week.

Saavedra said Megawide, which operates the world-class and multi-awarded Mactan-Cebu International Airport, is ready to bring its expertise and “engineering solutions” in addressing the problem of the NAIA congestion.

Under its plan, Megawide will address both air and land congestion by injection engineering solutions that would manage the flow of aircraft and travelers without necessarily expanding the capacity of the runway.

Megawide managing director for Transportation Louie Ferrer said Megawide has consistently delivered first-world infrastructure projects such as MCIA.

“We were able to deliver an award-winning new terminal and complete the revamp of the existing terminal in phases and without any financial issues. We may be a smaller company compared to other interested parties in the NAIA, but we have proven that we can deliver first-world infrastructure projects that Filipinos can be proud of,” Ferrer said.

Aside from MCIA, Megawide has been a partner of the government in different infrastructure projects built through the Public-Private Partnership programs even during the past administrations.

These include PPP for Public School Infrastructure Project, wherein Megawide built 7,000 classrooms for the phase one and over 2,000 classrooms for the phase two of the project.

Megawide also delivered on the Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX), an integrated transportation hub.

Recognizing the massive capital required by the NAIA project,   Saavedra said his company can deliver.

“Megawide can sustain the requirements of the different phases of the project which is in accordance with the Build-Operate-Transfer Law and its implementing rules and regulations. As an example, the requirements for MCIA only considered capex for the initial phases of the project, and we were able to deliver the full renovation of Terminal 1 and a brand new, award-winning Terminal 2, inclusive of additional airside facilities. We have no doubt that we will be able to sustain future expansions without issue despite qualification requirements having been based on initial development phases only,” Saavedra said.

Megawide proposed to invest $2 billion to modernize NAIA, which it would operate for a 25-year concession period if it bags the deal.

The company was given the OPS for the development of NAIA after government negotiations with seven conglomerates bogged down.

It is now ready to enter into negotiations with the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) regarding its modernization plan.

The Department of Transportation’s Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) granted the consortium led by Megawide, with GMR as partner operator, the OPS for the development of NAIA.

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