Foreign consultant Incheon tapped for Naia 3By Paolo G. Montecillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Philippine government has tapped the operator of South Korea’s Incheon International Airport, one of the world’s top aviation hubs, as a consultant for the completion of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) terminal 3.
The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) issued a notice of award last month to Incheon International Airport Corp. for consulting services for the Naia 3 project, portions of which remain closed four years after the facility opened.
The notice of award, signed by Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya and Undersecretary Jose Perpetuo Lotilla, showed that the South Korean firm would be paid the equivalent of P67 million.
The multi-awarded Incheon International Airport, about 70 kilometers away from South Korean capital Seoul, was ranked as the best in the world by Airports Council International in 2005. It has kept the title up to today. Over 35 million people passed through Incheon in 2011, making it the eight-busiest airport in the world based on passenger traffic.
In October, Incheon International Airport Corp. won a similar contract to provide consulting services for the development of the Puerto Princesa International Airport in Palawan.
The Incheon operator will serve only as the government’s consultant for the Naia 3 and Puerto Princesa projects. It will have no direct involvement in civil works.
The government expects to spend $45 million to complete Naia 3. Civil works will be the responsibility of Japan’s Takenaka Corp., the facility’s original contractor, which was unable to finish its work due to legal issues involving the airport’s original proponent, Philippine International Air Terminals Co. (Piatco).
Piatco was found by the Supreme Court to have been acting as a dummy for Germany’s Fraport AG, leading to the cancellation of its concession deal. The airport was later expropriated by the Philippine government.
Takenaka remains unpaid for its work.
Naia 3 is currently running at only about 50 percent of its capacity of 13 million passengers a year. Once it runs at full capacity, it is expected to significantly decongest airport terminals 1 and 2.
Takenaka is the biggest engineering, architecture and design group in Japan. It is also one of Japan’s oldest corporations.