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‘Super consortium’ taps Singapore airport operator for NAIA rehab bid

The "super consortium" of seven of the biggest Philippine companies has tapped the operator of Singapore's Changi airport to assist its bid to rehabilitate the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

In a filing to the local bourse, Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) vice president Melody del Rosario confirmed that the consortium has chosen Changi Airport International.

"We confirm that the parties have agreed to engage Changi Airport Consultants Pte. Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Changi Airports International Pte. Ltd., to provide technical support in relation to their unsolicited proposal to rehabilitate and expand NAIA," the disclosure read.

Aside from MPIC, other members of the super consortium are Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc., Alliance Global Group Inc., Ayala Corporation, Filinvest Development Corporation, JG Summit Holdings Inc., and LT Group Inc.

The consortium last year committed to submit an unsolicited proposal to rehabilitate the NAIA, the country's main gateway.

“The unsolicited proposal is intended to help accelerate the government’s 'Build Build Build' program. Augmenting NAIA’s capacity is the quickest way to address airport congestion while other airports are being developed outside Metro Manila. The consortium believes that this approach promotes greater economic benefit and sustainability for the whole country,” JG Summit said in December.

“Given proper upgrades and strategic improvements, NAIA can easily accommodate an additional 11 million passengers annually from the current 39.5M passengers, and can increase its hourly aircraft movements (landing and take-off) from 40 movements per hour to 48 movements per hour,” it said.

The government approved last year the P74.56-billion public-private partnership (PPP) project to improve, upgrade, and enhance the operational efficiencies of the NAIA to meet International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards.

The project, however, has been stalled due to concerns of the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

“A concern that has been raised within DOTr is that the concession period to recover the investments for that project would be quite long,” PPP Center Executive Director Ferdinand Pecson said in December.

Should the consortium bag the original proponent status for the project, other interested companies may match the offer under a Swiss Challenge. — BM, GMA News