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Six conglomerates, US-based GIP form consortium, submit P100-B proposal to upgrade NAIA

A consortium of six Filipino conglomerates and US-based Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) have formed the Manila International Airport Consortium (MIAC) and submitted an unsolicited proposal to the government to upgrade Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

The six conglomerates which joined forces with GIP are Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc., AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation, Asia's Emerging Dragon Corporation, Alliance Global-Infracorp Development, Inc., Filinvest Development Corporation, and JG Summit Infrastructure Holdings Corporation.

The MIAC’s unsolicited proposal valued at over P100 billion includes a “significant upfront payment to government” as well committed investments in new facilities and technology to transform NAIA into a world-class airport.

In December last year, Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista announced that the government is opening the negotiating table for the privatization of NAIA as it worked with the Asian Development Bank to prepare the terms of reference.

During the previous administration, two major proposals were made to rehabilitate the airport, one from the so-called NAIA Consortium which included the same conglomerates forming the MIAC, namely Asia’s Emerging Dragon, AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp., Alliance Global Group Inc., Filinvest Development Corp., and JG Summit Holdings Inc.

The Pangilinan-led Metro Pacific Investments Corp. was also part of the consortium until it pulled out.

Another proposal was submitted by a consortium of Megawide Construction Corp. and Bangalore-based GMR Infrastructure Ltd.

The proposals of the NAIA Consortium and the Megawide consortium were eventually rejected by the government.

As the Marcos administration leverages on public-private partnerships for its infrastructure push, Bautista said that in, once again, opening NAIA for privatization the government will be “investor-friendly.”

“We are ready to put our combined resources forward in partnering with the government on this massive undertaking. Our consortium brings unrivalled expertise, proven solutions and extensive capital. As the only large-scale operating gateway airport to the Philippines, the modernization and long-term sustainability of NAIA is a critical development priority for both the country’s public and private sectors,” said Kevin Tan, director of MIAC.

“Recognizing the primacy of NAIA to the country’s economic growth, the consortium is bringing highly complementary expertise and making an unprecedented commitment to its sustainability and continued viability,” said Tan.

For her part, MIAC director Josephine Gotianun Yap said: “We submit this proposal united in the belief that our gateway to the world needs to represent the best of who we are as Filipinos.”

“The consortium is confident that with additional financial resources as well as operating process and technology improvements, NAIA can help achieve that vision,” said Gotianun Yap.

The MIAC projects that the NAIA will have the ability to serve up to 62.5 million passengers per annum efficiently by 2028—more than double than its currently constrained design capacity, which stands at only 31 million passengers per annum.

Pre-pandemic passenger traffic at NAIA had already reached 48 million passengers in 2019, underscoring the need to upgrade the airport to meet growing demand.—AOL, GMA Integrated News