‘Higher NAIA passenger fees loom upon private takeover’

Iris Gonzales, Elijah Felice Rosales - The Philippine Star
�Higher NAIA passenger fees loom upon private takeover�
The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), regulator of NAIA, is proposing a schedule of rate hikes for NAIA services in preparation for the impending turnover of airport operations to a private firm.
Krizjohn Rosales

MANILA, Philippines —  Filipinos should brace for higher passenger service charges (PSC) of as much as 95 percent at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) when its management goes to the hands of a private group.

The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), regulator of NAIA, is proposing a schedule of rate hikes for NAIA services in preparation for the impending turnover of airport operations to a private firm.

A document seen by The STAR showed that the PSC for domestic travelers will almost double to P390, from P200, in the first year of the operations and maintenance under a private group.

Likewise, the PSC for international flyers will jump by 73 percent to P950 from P550, under the proposal of MIAA. The concessionaire will get a share of P348.21 and P705.4 from the PSC of domestic and international passengers, respectively.

The government will maintain its split of P100 from international passengers. The remainder will cover the value-added tax and contributions to the National Civil Aviation Security Committee.

As outlined by MIAA in the proposal, the PSC will be adjusted on the sixth and 11th years of the concession, and will also be amended on the 16th and 21st years if the contract is extended.

On the contrary, think tank Infrawatch PH believes that the first increase in NAIA charges should only level with rates at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA).

At present, MCIA charges a PSC of P850 on international passengers.

Nevertheless, Infrawatch PH convenor Terry Ridon, also a former lawmaker, said rate hikes have to be expected as with the privatization of any project.

“The public may expect the terminal fees to rise as a result of the NAIA rehabilitation project to reflect the capital costs required by the government in its solicited bid. As such, we are expecting an increase of terminal fees to be no higher than the current rates in the MCIA or no higher than 12 percent of current NAIA terminal fees,” Ridon told The STAR.

MCIA serves as a public-private partnership blueprint for airport operations and maintenance, as it was developed by GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC). In 2022 GMCAC was sold for P25 billion to Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc., which will fully take over MCIA this year.

Ridon said the government should waive the PSC on overseas Filipino workers who visit their loved ones here at home at least once a year.

Based on the original timeline, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) was supposed to award yesterday the 15-year concession to manage NAIA.

However, the DOTr submitted the bidding report to MIAA only on February 14, and the agency has to approve the notice of award before a winner is announced. If everything goes as planned, the DOTr should announce a concessionaire for the airport today, February 16.

Three out of four bidders were qualified to submit both technical and financial bids.

SMC SAP & Co. Consortium emerged as the frontrunner after offering a revenue share of 82.16 percent while its rivals proposed way below bids at 33.3 percent for GMR Airports Consortium and 25.91 percent for the Manila International Airport Consortium.

Industry sources told The STAR that the DOTr asked the bidders for additional clarification to ensure that their financial bids will be able to support their technical proposals.

The bidders were notified Wednesday night, thus, pushing back the issuance of the notice of award.

The Pre-Qualification Bids and Awards Committee (PBAC) is checking for "possible inconsistencies" between the submitted Financial Proposal and Technical Proposal," sources said.

Furthermore, it is also reviewing "the adequacy of the submitted Project Financing Plan." Thus, it sought additional clarification from the bidders.

vuukle comment


  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with