Aboitiz adds Bicol gateway to airport wish list
Conglomerate Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc. made an unsolicited offer for a fourth airport project in a bid to boost its infrastructure portfolio.
The company, through subsidiary Aboitiz InfraCapital, made an offer to operate and maintain the Bicol International Airport, according to Ruben Reinoso, undersecretary for planning at the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
Reinoso said in a text message on Friday the department had yet to review the proposal.
The Bicol International Airport, a gateway to Legazpi City, Albay, is currently under construction.
The project is almost 60-percent finished as of September this year and is slated for completion in 2021, according to a DOTr spokesperson. The Bicol airport is designed to serve two million passengers annually.
Aboitiz, a power, banking, food and property conglomerate, has made previous unsolicited bids for Bohol-Panglao International Airport and Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental.
The National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) has yet to approve the Bohol airport proposal. For Laguindingan Airport, the DOTr has yet to complete its evaluation, Reinoso said.
Aboitiz’s largest airport project is the upgrade and operations of Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia), the Philippines’ busiest gateway.
The Aboitiz family joined six other tycoons to establish Naia Consortium, a private sector vehicle that would run Naia for a 15-year concession. The Neda board has also yet to approve Naia Consortium’s offer.
Aboitiz earlier tapped as partner Irish airport company daa International for its Bohol-Panglao and Laguindingan proposals.
Daa International operates Ireland’s main gateway, Dublin Airport, which handles some 31 million passengers annually. It also runs Cork Airport, Ireland’s second-largest air gateway, as well as the Terminal 5 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
According to Aboitiz InfraCapital, volume at Laguindingan Airport hit two million in 2018 versus its design capacity of 1.6 million passengers annually.
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