DOTr gives go signal to P102-B NAIA rehab project

By Emmie V. Abadilla

The government has accepted the re-submitted P102-billion plan of the country's biggest conglomerates to rehabilitate Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) although the original proponents still have to hurdle a Swiss challenge to clinch the deal.

Department of Transportation (DOTr) logo (Courtesy of

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) gave the NAIA consortium the ultimatum to finalize its concession agreement this Tuesday, April 30. The proponents re-submitted their proposal days ahead of the deadline, scrapping “minor details” attributed to “administrative oversight” and the government accepted it this Tuesday evening.

Already, the project’s contract price, originally set at P350 billion last year, has been pared down to a third of the amount. The concession period, initially set at 35 years, has been almost halved to 15 years.

However, the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) also needs to review the proposal, after which the DOTr will endorse it to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)-Investment Coordination Committee, which President Rodrigo Duterte chairs, for approval.

Once the NEDA board gives its nod, the DOTr can draft the terms of reference and the project undergoes a Swiss challenge, where competitors can try to best the original proponents’ offer. If the NAIA Consortium's proposal is unchallenged, the government can formally award the project to them, hopefully, in three months.

The winner can start upgrading and expanding the old congested NAIA within the last quarter of this year, if everyone sticks to the schedule.

The super consortium, composed of Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc., AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp., Alliance Global Group Inc., Asia’s Emerging Dragon Corp., Filinvest Development Corp., JG Summit Holdings, Inc. and Metro Pacific Investments Corp.,offered to expand and link NAIA's existing terminals via a “people mover,” upgrading airside facilities and developing the commercial infrastructure of the aging airport to restore its status as a premier international gateway.

The NAIA consortium also partnered with Changi Airport International, the operator of Singapore's airport, for technical support.

The ultimate objective is to increase NAIA’s capacity to accommodate 65 million passengers yearly as opposed to its design capacity of 31 million passengers per year. To date, NAIA accommodates 45 million passengers per annum.
Rehabilitation will likewise boost the airport's hourly takeoff and landing movements by a third, to 52 movements.