Changi Airport eyes up to 30% stake in P350-B Naia project
Singapore’s Changi Airport Group is keen on taking up a 30-percent stake in the venture among seven local conglomerates to expand and operate the crown jewel of Philippine air gateways—Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia).
This was revealed by businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan, who was a guest speaker at the Joint Meeting of the Economic Cooperation Committees of the Philippines and Japan.
Pangilinan is chair of infrastructure giant Metro Pacific Investments Corp., one of the consortium members.
The other participants are Ayala Corp., Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Andrew Tan’s Alliance Global Group Inc., Lucio Tan’s Asia Emerging Dragon, Gotianun-led Filinvest Development Corp., and Gokongwei-led JG Summit Holdings Inc.
Pangilinan said Changi Airport had “signified its intention” to take up to 30 percent equity in the project, estimated to cost P350 billion over two major phases. Changi Airports International Pte. Ltd. was earlier tapped as technical partner.
Pangilinan said the remaining 70 percent would be evenly split among the consortium members.
“I think this is a good sign of the business groups getting together to address very serious issues,” Pangilinan said.
Since it is an unsolicited offer, the project is expected to undergo a Swiss challenge should it be accepted by the government.
The Naia offer, which requires a 35-year concession period, is divided into two phases.
The first would improve and expand existing facilities while the next stage was more complex given the addition of taxiways, passenger terminals and a third runway, which would help support an annual capacity of 100 million passengers.
Naia handles over 40 million passengers per year, well above its design capacity of about 30 million passengers. Congestion on its two intersecting runways also curtails further growth and causes delays.
In 2014, an official of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines estimated economic losses of airlines operating in Naia at around P7 billion per year.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.