By Emmie V. Abadilla
The NAIA Consortium, a group of the country’s seven biggest conglomerates with a combined capitalization of over P2.2 trillion, yesterday submitted its unsolicited proposal to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to transform the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) into a regional airport hub at the cost of around P350 billion.
The members, composed of Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc., AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation, Alliance Global Group, Inc., AEDC, Filinvest Development Corporation, JG Summit Holdings, Inc. and Metro Pacific Investments Corporation, also signed a memorandum of agreement formalizing the consortium.
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.
The consortium 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 improvements 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,” announced consortium spokesperson Jose Emmanuel Reverente.
“The message is clear. We need this, and we can get this done.”
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 explained.
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,” according to Reverente. “Immediate enhancements and capacity upgrades can be expected within a couple of years, followed by further expansion to be completed shortly after.”
Meanwhile GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation, developer
of the country’s second largest international gateway, commended the Super Consortium “for submitting a knowledgeable proposal”.
“The willingness of the Super Consortium’s to invest in Philippine airports gives a lot of confidence to investors and the international community,” GMR Megawide Louie B. Ferrer noted in an official statement.
“We have a lot of respect for the track record of these companies and their commitment to uplifting the lives of Filipinos.”
Megawide GMR intends to participate in the development and rehabilitation of Philippine airports and this still includes NAIA, he clarified.
“The government and the people now have the choice between a number of airport proposals and which ones offer the best value. This kind of competition is healthy for the infrastructure sector.”
“Our participation comes from our experience in operating and developing Mactan-Cebu Airport, which has transformed from a small airport into one of the best in Asia Pacific in the category of less than 10 million passengers.”
“Our understanding of passenger behavior and stakeholder capabilities has allowed us to increase connections and passenger numbers. Not only that, we have a solid engineering background through the construction of Terminal 2, and a partner whose airports are consistently named among the world’s best.”
“This really is an exciting time for Philippine airports,” he concluded.
“As a Filipino, I’m happy to see this level of participation from the business sector. It’s about time our airports have this kind of support and attention. The Philippines really has the best potential operators for NAIA.”
Tags: Aboitiz InfraCapital, AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation, Alliance Global Group, Changi Airports International Pte, Consortium offers to transform NAIA, Department of Transportation, Filinvest Development Corporation, GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation, GMR Megawide Louie B. Ferrer, JG Summit Holdings, Metro Pacific Investments Corporation, Ninoy Aquino International Airport, spokesperson Jose Emmanuel Reverente, Super Consortium