NEDA oks NAIA rehab solicited proposal, ditches consortium’s bid

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PAL resumes Manila-Tuguegarao daily flights on Oct 29
Ninoy Aquino International Airport photo from the Manila International Airport Authority.
  • The National Economic and Development Authority Board has approved the P170.6-billion solicited proposal to rehabilitate Ninoy Aquino International Airport
  • The approval means the P267-billion unsolicited proposal by the Manila International Airport Consortium is now deemed “closed”
  • Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said a winning bidder is expected within the year and that the project will start next year

The National Economic and Development Authority Board has approved the P170.6-billion solicited proposal to rehabilitate Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) via the public-private partnership (PPP) route.

The approval means the government is no longer entertaining the P267-billion unsolicited proposal by the Manila International Airport Consortium (MIAC). MIAC is composed of 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 US-based Global Infrastructure Partners.

“The decision of the NEDA Board to go for a solicited proposal contract means that the unsolicited track is already closed,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said in a press conference on July 19.

Transportation undersecretary for Aviation and Airports Roberto Lim also told PortCalls in a text message that with the NEDA Board approval, “we will only review the solicited proposal.”

Balisacan said the “open and competitive bidding” under the solicited proposal is “usually… for the benefit of the public and the government… we don’t know what’s best until we get the various offers [from bidders].” He cited as example the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, whose contract underwent solicited bidding, noting that MCIA is now an internationally recognized terminal.

The official said entities involved in the unsolicited proposal may still participate in the bidding for the solicited contract.

He said a winning bidder is expected within the year and that the project may start next year.

Following Balisacan’s announcement, MIAC in a statement said it is “one with the Government on its infrastructure priorities, and is aligned with the DOTr and NEDA’s commitment to the urgent task of revitalizing NAIA given its importance as the country’s main international gateway.”

It added: “MIAC is united with the Government on the mission to deliver a better NAIA for the country. Regardless of the route, we firmly believe that NAIA’s modernization requires a long-term and comprehensive solution delivered by a credible and capable party at the quickest possible time. These criteria – regardless of the approach – would best benefit NAIA and the Filipino people.”

MIAC had proposed a 25-year concession to implement a master plan in three phases.

The solicited NAIA PPP project was submitted to NEDA by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Manila International Airport Authority on June 2. Under the plan, the private concessionaire will be granted a 15-year concession period to invest in modern air traffic control equipment, rehabilitate runways and taxiways, and improve existing terminal facilities. The concession period may be extended for another 10 years.

The project includes the rehabilitation, expansion and operation of the country’s main gateway to address long-standing issues such as inadequate capacity of passenger terminal buildings and restricted aircraft movement, Balisacan said in a separate briefing on the same day.

The project aims to increase the current annual capacity of NAIA from 35 million to at least 62 million passengers annually, and increase air traffic movement from 40 to 48 per hour.

Balisacan said the project is expected to improve overall passenger experience and service quality to prevent long queues, lengthy waiting time, and other passenger inconveniences.