The P17.5-billion project to expand, rehabilitate and operate the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, south of the Philippine capital Manila, has drawn local conglomerates, airlines and airport operators, including those associated with world-class facilities in Singapore and South Korea.
Keen to take part in the government’s first airport public-private partnership project are MPIC-JGS consortium, AAA Airport Partners, Filinvest-CAI consortium, San Miguel-Incheon Airport consortium, First Philippine Airports, Premier Airport group and GMR Megawide consortium.
Their representatives and foreign partners were present during the opening of prequalifying documents at the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) headquarters on Monday.
Behind those firms are Manuel V. Pangilinan-led Metro Pacific Investments Corp. with Gokongwei-led JG Summit Holdings for MPIC-JGS; Ayala Corp. and Aboitiz Equity Ventures for AAA; Henry Sy’s SM Group for Premier Airport; and the Lopez Group for First Philippine Airports.
The country’s biggest airline operators were well represented, an obvious result of the DOTC lifting early this year a policy banning them and their affiliates from participating. JG Summit owns Cebu Pacific while SMC owns flag carrier Philippine Airlines.
Each group has tapped a foreign airport operator as partner as the DOTC had previously noted the country’s shortcomings and lack of expertise in this area.
MPIC-JGS tapped Aeroports de Lyon; AAA partnered with Houston Airport System; Filinvest-CAI tapped Singapore’s Changi Airport Saudi Ltd.; San Miguel tapped Incheon International Airport Corp.; First Holdings tapped Wellington International Airport Ltd., NZ Airports Ltd. and Infantil Ltd.; Premier Airport tapped Flughafen Zurich AG; and GMR-Megawide partnered with Delhi International Airport and GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd.
“This is merely a first step. We still need 20 days to review and evaluate the documents,” DOTC Undersecretary Jose Lotilla said. “So on May 17 we will announce the consortiums prequalified for this.”
The expansion of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, which is running beyond normal capacity, calls for the construction of a world-class international passenger terminal building with a capacity of about eight million passengers a year. The facility has an annual capacity of 4.5 million passengers but it booked around 6.2 million in 2011.