Naia Consortium, DOTr iron out Naia deal terms
The government and private firms are negotiating the terms of an unsolicited offer that will ultimately determine how much longer Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) will remain the country’s main gateway.
Jose Reverente, spokesman of Naia Consortium, the group of seven conglomerates that offered in February to upgrade and operate Naia for a period of 35 years, told reporters the group was in talks with the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for a shorter concession period.
He said options on the table outlined by the DOTr, which deemed a 35-year concession too long, were an eight-, 10- and 15-year period.
“We are currently in negotiations with the DOTr with respect to what they find acceptable,” Reverente said on the sidelines of a business forum organized by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
He said the Naia Consortium would submit a revised offer before June this year to comply with the DOTr’s request.
Under its offer, Reverente explained the consortium could still increase capacity in Naia to 65 million passengers annually. Moreover, it wants to increase aircraft hourly takeoff and landing movements to 52, higher by about 30 percent.
Naia is currently serving over 40 million passengers annually, above its design capacity of 31 million passengers per year.
Reverente noted that if the concession period were cut to around 15 years, it would rule out building a new parallel runway on reclaimed land in Manila Bay that Naia Consortium initially proposed in February.
The new runway, under the so-called phase 2 of Naia Consortium’s offer, comprised the bulk of the P350 billion investment under the original proposal.
The DOTr sees Naia’s role as the country’s main gateway ending in about a decade given expansion constraints at its current site.
It favored closing Naia around that time and moving operations to a new international air gateway with the capacity to meet future demand.
Options include San Miguel Corp.’s Bulacan international airport offer, up for approval by the board of the National Economic and Development Authority.
During the forum on Wednesday, DOTr undersecretary for planning Reuben Reinoso said the department was also evaluating options for Sangley Point, Cavite.
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