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DOTr: NAIA rehab price tag to hit P 141B

DOTr: NAIA rehab price tag to hit P 141B


By Tyrone Jasper C. Piad

The rehabilitation of the congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia), which is estimated to cost P141 billion, may start by the first quarter of 2024 as the government seeks a private concessionaire to take up the big-ticket infrastructure project at a time of passenger movement resurgence.

Transportation Undersecretary for Aviation and Airports Roberto Lim, in an interview on ANC, said it would take them some time before choosing the private partner for the upgrading of the international gateway.

“We can say that is doable in the first quarter of next year. It is doable that there will be a conclusion that could possibly be proclaimed by the government,” he said.

“If there is more than one participant, we will have to talk to all of them. It will take time,” he added.

Last week, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Manila International Airport Authority submitted its solicited proposal for the Naia rehabilitation project to the National Economic and Development Authority for approval.

In the proposal, the government agencies are looking for a private sector partner to maintain and operate the international gateway for 15 years to recoup investments related to the facility upgrades.

Lim said that the winning bidder must commit to invest P141 billion for the expansion and improvement of the airport, including its air traffic control equipment, runways and taxiways and terminal facilities. Overall, the project seeks to increase the passenger capacity at the congested airport and to improve the experience of travelers through shorter waiting and processing times, modern facilities and better connectivity between terminals.

Additional costs

In addition, the chosen private concessionaire will be asked to pay an upfront cost of P30 billion and annuity payment of P2 billion, he said. The government will also have a share in the international gateway’s revenue generation from commercial and noncommercial operations, which the DOTr official pegged at “billions.”

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He assured that Naia employees would be taken care of after a private partner takes over the operation and maintenance of the airport.

“Generally, no loss of employment. Airport employees will be offered the opportunity to work when the airport facilities are privatized,” he said.

In April, the Manila International Airport Consortium lodged an unsolicited proposal valued at P100 billion—lower than the calculated project cost by the DOTr—to upgrade the international gateway. It seeks to double Naia’s passenger capacity to 62.5 million per annum by 2028 from 31 million currently.

The consortium comprises Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc., AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp., Asia’s Emerging Dragon Corp., Alliance Global-Infracorp Development Inc., Filinvest Development Corp., JG Summit Infrastructure Holdings Corp. and Global Infrastructure Partners.