Naia group gets ultimatum
A deadline is looming for the consortium of seven local conglomerates that earlier offered to upgrade and expand the congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia)—the Philippines’s main air gateway in Manila.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said on Tuesday that he had given the Naia Consortium until April 30 this year to wrap up negotiations on its P102-billion unsolicited proposal.
“I will stop talking to them if nothing happens [by April 30],” Tugade said during the Transport Talks forum organized by the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
Tugade added that the DOTr would then be free to pursue its own upgrades for Naia.
Jose Reverente, spokesperson for Naia Consortium, said on Tuesday that “we will comply with the stated deadline of Secretary Tugade.”
During the forum, Tugade said the deadline was needed since talks have dragged on for too long. He also insisted that the DOTr was not the cause of the delay.
While specific negotiation points were not detailed, Transportation Undersecretary for Aviation Manuel Tamayo noted deficiencies in Naia Consortium’s original proposal.
For one, he said the DOTr wanted more information on the proposed “people mover” that would transport passengers across Naia’s passenger terminals. Tamayo said a revised proposal was submitted by the consortium last March 20.
Naia Consortium is hoping to augment capacity at the massive airport complex, which has limited expansion options given its location surrounded by dense commercial and residential areas within Metro Manila.
Based on its offer, it will increase capacity to support 65 million passengers annually versus Naia’s design capacity of 31 million passengers a year. Moreover, hourly takeoff and landing movements will rise to 52 movements, up by a third.
Naia currently serves more than 40 million passengers a year.
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.
Their proposal was first submitted in February last year. The consortium won original proponent status, granting it a major advantage in a Swiss challenge process, by September that same year.
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