Seven of the country’s largest conglomerates on Tuesday formally submitted an unsolicited proposal to the Department of Transportation to rehabilitate and expand the capacity of Ninoy Aquino International Airport at a cost of P350 billion.
The seven partners, Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc., AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp., Alliance Global Group Inc., AEDC, Filinvest Development Corp., JG Summit Holdings Inc. and Metro Pacific Investments Corp., which have a combined capitalization of over P2.2 trillion, signed the memorandum of agreement formalizing the consortium.
The super consortium will be initially called Naia Consortium.
The project is divided into two phases, with the first phase coverin the improvements and expansion of terminals at the current Naia land area and the second phase involving the development of an additional runway, taxiways, passenger terminals and associated support infrastructure. The group proposed a 35-year concession period.
Jose Emmanuel Reverente, the consortium spokesperson, said the group planned to spend P100 billion for phase 1 and P250 billion for phase 2.
He said the consortium tapped global premier airport operator Changi Airports International Pte. Ltd. to provide technical support in the areas of master planning, operations optimization and commercial development.
Reverente said the group was committed to the development of a modern airport complex that would meet the long-term passenger demand at Naia.
“Through this proposal, we envision a new Naia―a fully-integrated premier gateway that we Filipinos can truly be proud of, backed by the know-how of an experienced technical partner and the strong synergy of seven homegrown teams. The message is clear: we need this, and we can get this done,” Reverente said.
He said the proposal also included a people mover that would link all three terminals and connect Naia to the existing mass transport system in Metro Manila and an option for a third runway.
“The proposal involves expanding and interconnecting the existing terminals of Naia, upgrading airside facilities and developing commercial facilities to increase airline and airport efficiencies, enhance passenger comfort and experience, and improve public perception of Naia as the country’s premier international gateway,” Reverente said.
Passenger traffic to Naia is expected to continue to grow significantly over the coming years and the existing runway configuration may be unable to accommodate the future flows.
Construction of the additional runway will ensure the ability of Naia to serve as Manila’s gateway for years to come, bringing potential capacity up to 100 million passengers per year from over 40 million passengers last year, the consortium said.
It said the upgrades would elevate Naia to the level of major regional airports such as Changi in Singapore and Suvarnabhumi in Bangkok and make it a viable transit hub for Asean.
“Given the full support and commitment of each of the seven consortium members and the existing infrastructure already in place, the project implementation can be expedited. Immediate enhancements and capacity upgrades can be expected within a couple of years, followed by further expansion to be completed shortly after,” Reverente said.
Meanwhile, Louie Ferrer, president of GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. said the group would also submit its own proposal together with Social Security System for the development of Philippine airports including Naia.
“The government and the people now have the choice between a number of airport proposals and which ones offer the best value. This kind of competition is healthy for the infrastructure sector,” he said.
“Our participation comes from our experience in operating and developing Mactan-Cebu Airport, which has transformed from a small airport into one of the best in Asia Pacific in the category of less than 10 million passengers,” Ferrer said.