Gov’t urged to act fast on Naia proposal

By Miguel R. Camus | Philippine Daily Inquirer

The so-called super consortium composed of the country’s biggest conglomerates urged the Duterte administration to act sooner on its offer to upgrade Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia), which is suffering from congestion woes.

In a statement, the group said it was hoping to start expanding Naia’s terminals and add more flights “as soon as possible because Naia is a strategic national asset that needs upgrading without delay.”

“The government can expedite the approvals allowed under existing rules. That will be the best scenario. Once we complete our short-term expansion and upgrading plans, passenger convenience will be immediately felt. There will be more space for everybody and that is just the first step,” Jimbo Reverente, the super consortium’s spokesperson, said in the statement.

Reverente noted that the present approval process could take months to over a year. Under its proposal, another 24 months would be needed to complete the first phase of expansion.

“The country would be well served if we can have a better Naia soonest,” he said.

Naia’s four passenger terminals serve more than 40 million passengers yearly against its design capacity of 31 million passengers. By 2019, the consortium estimated yearly traffic at 47 million passengers.

“So it is urgent for the country to get this project going because doing nothing as a result of the long approval process will set all of us back,” he said.
The super consortium’s members are Ayala Corp., Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Andrew Tan’s Alliance Global Group Inc., Lucio Tan’s Asia Emerging Dragon, Gotianun-led Filinvest Development Corp., Gokongwei-led JG Summit Holdings Inc. and Manuel V. Pangilinan-led Metro Pacific Investments Corp.

It brought in Changi International Airport, reputedly the world’s best airport manager, as a technical partner.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said it would review the super consortium’s offer, which was seen costing some P350 billion over a 35-year concession period. Its offer covers a provision for a third runway to serve Naia’s two intersecting runways.

The proposal was submitted on Feb. 12, 2018. It would likely compete with another offer submitted a week after by Megawide Construction Corp. and India’s GMR Infrastructure. The team offered to spend P150 billion over an 18-year concession.

The DOTr has yet to outline a clear roadmap for airport developments in Metro Manila and nearby areas.

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