Work on Naia upgrade to start Sept next year
The private sector consortium seeking to operate and upgrade capacity at Manila’s congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) is expected to start work around September 2019 or a year and half since it was first proposed.
Undersecretary for Aviation Manuel Tamayo of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) shared the prospective timeline, which took into account the pace of the government approval process.
Tamayo said the unsolicited proposal of Naia Consortium would be forwarded to the Investment Coordination Committee of the National Economic and Development Authority for further approval this week.
This will then be followed up by the go-ahead from the Neda Board, chaired by President Duterte, before it can be bid out through a competitive or Swiss challenge.
Tamayo said the Swiss challenge would likely be concluded by the second quarter of 2019.
Naia Consortium, comprised of seven of the country’s biggest conglomerates, first submitted its offer in February 2018. It eventually won original proponent status in August this year.
The proposal, in its current form, will require investments of about P102 billion and aims to improve both passenger and runway congestion. Naia, the country’s busiest gateway, handles more than 40 million passengers annually against its design capacity of 31 million passengers a year.
Based on its offer, Naia Consortium will increase capacity to support 65 million passengers annually. Moreover, hourly takeoff and landing movements under Naia Consortium will rise to 52 movements, up by a third.
Naia Consortium also plans to build a “people mover” to link Naia’s passenger terminals.
The agreed concession period will run for 15 years, reduced from 35 years under the original proposal. The original offer included a provision for a brand-new runway on reclaimed land in Manila Bay to support future passenger growth.
The DOTr earlier rejected the proposal for a new runway as its leadership believed that Naia should eventually be closed to make way for new gateways outside Metro Manila.
Naia Consortium’s members include Ayala Corp., Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Alliance Global Group Inc., Asia Emerging Dragon, Filinvest Development Corp, JG Summit Holdings Inc. and Metro Pacific Investments Corp. Its technical partner is Singapore’s Changi Airports International.
The DOTr is also moving to hold a Swiss challenge early next year for San Miguel Corp.’s unsolicited offer to build a new international airport in Bulakan, Bulacan province, about 50 kilometers north of Metro Manila.
SMC president Ramon Ang earlier said they would tap South Korea’s Incheon International Airport as a partner for the Bulacan Airport, which will have a 50-year concession period.
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