AIRPORT operators from Singapore and Indonesia have teamed up with local companies to submit on Friday competing bids for the Clark International Airport operations and maintenance (O&M) contract.

The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) said North Luzon Airport Consortium and X-Droid Consortium both submitted complete bids on Friday. Awarding of the contract is scheduled in December.

North Luzon Airport Consortium is composed of Gotianun-led Filinvest Development Corp., Gokongwei-led JG Summit Holdings, Inc.. Philippine Airport Ground Support Solutions, Inc., and Changi Airport Philippines. Changi Airport Philippines is the local unit of the operator Singapore’s world-class Changi international airport.

Earlier this year, the government rejected the P839-billion unsolicited proposal of Filinvest and JG Summit develop the Clark airport as the DoTr wanted to bid out the gateway’s O&M instead.

On the other hand, the X-Droid Consortium is comprised of Angkasa Pura II, Globalport 900, Inc., Mazy’s Capital, Inc. and Desco, Inc. A representative of Philippines AirAsia, Inc. separately confirmed that it is part of the X-Droid consortium.

Angkasa Pura II is a state-owned operator of several airports in Indonesia, including the biggest one — the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta. Mazy’s is owned by former Ambassador Alfredo M. Yao, while Globalport 900 is a listed firm led by chairman Michael L. Romero. Messrs.

The bids of the North Luzon Airport Consortium and X-Droid Consortium will now undergo a pre-qualification test by the Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC), targeted to be completed next week.

Upon completion of the pre-qualification test, the SBAC will then move to check the technical and financial bids.

The government originally scheduled the opening of bids in July and awarding of the contract in August, but SBAC Chairperson Joshua M. Bingcang said the timeline was changed upon the request of prospective bidders.

Mr. Bingcang also told reporters on Friday about nine to 10 companies originally bought bid documents to participate in the auction.

Among the buyers announced in May but did not participate are Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC); San Miguel Holdings Corp.; Prime Asset Ventures, Inc.; the Central Luzon Infrastructure Consultancy, Inc. consortium; GVK Airport Developers Ltd.; Groupe ADP and Megawide Construction Corp. with partner GMR Infrastructure Ltd. (Megawide-GMR).

In a disclosure to the stock exchange last week, MPIC said it decided not to pursue participation because of contentions in the terms.

“[W]hile MPIC expressed its interest to support the government’s Build Build Build initiative for Clark Airport, we find the current draft of the Concession Agreement extremely challenging, given the identified material risks that were not addressed. The schedule of the bid submission further made participation in the bid very difficult, considering that the final draft of the Concession Agreement was released only yesterday. For the foregoing reasons, MPIC is unlikely to submit a bid for the project,” the company said on Oct. 31.

Megawide-GMR, one of the prospective participants in the O&M bidding, also holds the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the Clark airport. They are expected to finish the new terminal by 2020.

Mr. Bingcang said they want the O&M concessionaire to come in before Megawide-GMR finishes the building to avoid “interface issue” and account the insights of the would-be operator in the layout.

“We don’t want the building to be completed and then the incoming operator will say that’s not what we want. So we want them to be part of the construction stage,” he said.

The contract will allow the winner to operate and maintain both the existing passenger terminal and the new one that Megawide-GMR is currently constructing. — Denise A. Valdez