By Emmie V. Abadilla
The NAIA Consortium yesterday announced, in a press statement, that the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has cleared their unsolicited P350 billion proposal to improve and expand the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) into a regional airport hub.
The NAIA Consortium, a group of the country’s seven biggest conglomerates with a combined capitalization of over P2.2 trillion, submitted its unsolicited proposal to the DOTr last month, February 13, 2018.
Its members include Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc., AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation, Alliance Global Group Inc., AEDC, Filinvest Development Corporation, JG Summit Holdings, Inc. and Metro Pacific Investments Corporation.
The consortium yesterday cited a DOTr letter dated March 12, 2018 addressed to the former’s representatives relating to the “completeness review” of the unsolicited proposal.
They maintained that the DOTr has declared their proposal “in accordance with the documentary requirements” stated in the Build Operate Transfer (BOT) Law.
The group is engaging the services of Changi Airports International Pte. Ltd., one of the world’s premier airport operators to elevate NAIA to a viable transit hub for the ASEAN region at par with major regional airports, such as Changi in Singapore and Suvarnabhumi in Bangkok. Their proposal has several phases, starting with addressing terminal congestion.
“Last year, a total of 42 million passengers passed through the four NAIA terminals designed to carry only 31 million passengers. We are hoping to clear the government’s approval process and Swiss challenge at the soonest,” says consortium spokesperson Jose Emmanuel Reverente.
The consortium proposed to increase NAIA’s terminal design capacity to 47 million after two years from award, and to 65 million after four years from award.
This first wave of expansion will cost $2 billion or over R100 billion. “Our timetable is the shortest and our budget is cost-efficient” he maintained.
The consortium’s proposed to develop NAIA into a world-class facility and a regional air transport hub by upgrading its airside, landside, and air navigation support to accommodate 100 million passengers per year.
Hence, the project is divided into two phases. Phase one includes improvement and expansion of terminals in the current NAIA land area, while Phase two involves the development of an additional runway, taxiways, passenger terminals and associated support infrastructure.
“We envision a new NAIA, a fully-integrated premier gateway that Filipinos can be proud of, backed by the know-how of an experienced technical partner and the strong synergy of seven homegrown teams,” according to Reverente.
The proposal even includes a people mover to link all three terminals and connect NAIA to the existing mass transport system in Metro Manila, as well as 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,” he added.
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.
“Given the support and commitment of the seven consortium members and the existing infrastructure already in place, the project can be expedited,” Reverente went on. “Immediate enhancements and capacity upgrades can be expected within a couple of years, followed by further expansion to be completed shortly after.”