NAIA Consortium finalizing concession deal with governt
MANILA, Philippines — As the Department of Transportation (DOTr)’s deadline draws near, the super consortium of seven conglomerates seeking to rehabilitate the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) has expressed eagerness to comply in order to finalize its concession agreement with the government.
“We have addressed those issues and we are set to comply with the deadline required by the DOTr and I think in a matter of few days we’re going to have an announcement,” said Cosette Canilao, chief operating officer of Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc., a member of the NAIA Consortium.
Canilao said the group is hoping that the revised proposal to be submitted before the Monday deadline set by the DOTr would be accepted by the government.
“To compromise is a good term. We are trying to address both issues of the government primarily, and us as well. From our end, since we’re submitting a proposal based on their concerns, that’s a telltale sign of course that we are very eager to do this project,” Canilao said.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade last month said that his agency is giving the NAIA consortium until April 30 to finish the concession agreement, otherwise, the government or another private entity would undertake the project instead.
“I will stop talking with the consortium if nothing happens. The discussions have taken so long that is why I am saying that I want to put a cap. It cannot take forever that is why there needs to be a deadline. By April 30, if we do not arrive at a common ground then we will do the project on the DOTr-MIAA side,” Tugade said.
Aside from Aboitiz InfraCapital, the NAIA Consortium is composed of some of the country’s biggest conglomerates which are 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.
The group, which intends to pour in P102 billion to rehabilitate, upgrade, expand, operate, and maintain the aging NAIA, had been granted the original proponent status (OPS) by the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) board on Aug. 6, 2018, and was officially awarded with the OPS on Sept. 13.
The DOTr was previously targeting to complete the Swiss challenge process for the NAIA rehabilitation proposal in 2018, but it had been pushed back due to problems encountered in the negotiations for the concession agreement.
The NAIA Consortium’s unsolicited proposal, which was submitted to the DOTr and to the MIAA on Feb. 12 last year, aims to transform the country’s main international gateway into a regional airport hub by expanding its capacity to meet the anticipated growth in passenger traffic from the economies of the Philippines and the region.
The project supports the government’s Build Build Build program with plans to develop NAIA into a world-class facility and a regional air transport hub by upgrading its airside, landside and air navigation support – building on the gains already achieved by the DOTr in terms of improving the traffic of aircraft movements on its runways.