An unsolicited proposal to rehabilitate, expand and operate Metro Manila’s congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) has moved forward with the project’s proponent having been granted original proponent status (OPS).
The NAIA Consortium is composed of AC Infrastructure Holdings, Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc., Alliance Global Group, Inc., Asia’s Emerging Dragon Corp., Filinvest Development Corp., JG Summit Holdings, Inc., and Metro Pacific Investments Corp.
In disclosures on Thursday, members of the so-called “super consortium” said both the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) had allowed them to pursue their proposal, originally submitted in February and later revised given a competing offer from the Megawide-GMR group.
The OPS grant means the proposed project—once approved by the National Economic and Development Authority Board—will be subjected to a Swiss challenge, where the government will entertain rival offers while giving the consortium the opportunity to match or top the proposals.
“The NAIA Consortium looks forward to working closely with the DOTr and MIAA to progress this initiative. We are committed to see this project through and to follow the proper legal processes,” NAIA Consortium spokesman Jimbo Reverente was quoted as saying in the disclosures.
The consortium had initially proposed a 35-year concession period and set the project cost at P350 billion. After Megawide-GMR challenged this with a P156-billion, 18-year offer, the DOTr said the NAIA Consortium had revised its proposal to a 15-year concession and a P105-billion cost.
The price was pegged at P102 billion in the disclosures, which consortium members said would involve “expanding and interconnecting the terminals of NAIA, upgrading airside facilities, developing commercial facilities to increase airline and airport efficiencies, enhancing passenger comfort and experience, and elevating the status of NAIA as the country’s premier international gateway.”
The country’s main air hub was designed to accommodate 31 million passengers this has long been exceeded.
The lack of upgrades at the oldest and main Terminal 1, in particular, previously earned it the tag of “worst airport in the world.”
Last month, Reverente said that if the consortium was given the go-signal before the end of the year, “we can increase this capacity to 47 million by 2020 and to 65 million by 2022.”
“There will be enough space for everybody and NAIA can serve as a catalyst for growth all over the country in terms of trade, tourism and investments,” he added.
BY MA. LISBET K. ESMAEL