Clark airport O&M attracts interest

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New Clark International Airport

A CONTRACT to operate and maintain (O&M) for 25 years an expanded Clark International Airport — designed to decongest the premier gateway in Metro Manila — has attracted several groups that sent representatives to a pre-bid conference in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City on Monday.

Eight companies bought bid documents as of Monday, the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) said in a statement, identifying them as the Megawide-GMR Consortium which in December also won the deal to construct Clark airport’s new passenger terminal building and has done the same for Mactan Cebu International Airport; Metro Pacific Investments Corp.; Filinvest Development Corp.; San Miguel Holdings Corp.; Prime Asset Ventures, Inc.; Central Luzon Infrastructure Consultancy, Inc.; Consortium; GVK Airport Developers Ltd.; and Groupe ADP.

BCDA noted that representatives of about 30 groups attended Monday’s conference, including Zurich Airport AG; Sojitz Philippines Corp.; Udenna Corp.; Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad; Clarkfield Aviation Services, Inc.; Mitsubishi Corp.; Macquarie Group Limited; JG Summit Holdings, Inc.; Halder & Associates; PAL Express; Samsung Electronics Co.; Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc.; AirAsia Group; Evercon Builders and Equipment Corp.; and Miescor Logistics, Inc.

BCDA said interested parties may buy bid documents until June 18 for a non-refundable fee of P1 million.

Under a preliminary timetable, bid submission will take place on July 20, which will also see the opening of qualification documents; opening and evaluation of technical bids on July 26; opening of financial bids on Aug. 6; issuance of notice of award on Aug. 24; contract award and signing on Aug. 30.

O&M will start with the existing passenger terminal building this Dec. 1, while the new building should be up and running by July 2020.

The Philippines’ premier gateway, Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Metro Manila, is itself about to undergo modernization.

NAIA handled 42 million passengers last year, beyond its 30.5 million designed capacity. A Clark project brief noted that in 2016, “over 13%” of the 39.5 million passengers who passed through NAIA “were bound to or were coming from… northern and Central Luzon, CIA’s (Clark International Airport) catchment area.”

The National Economic and Development Authority Board, chaired by President Rodrigo R. Duterte, last month gave final green light for the P753.63-billion international airport project proposed by San Miguel Corp. to be built in Bulacan, also to help decongest NAIA.

A few technical requirements were questioned during Monday’s conference, including one that requires a bidder to have been in charge of O&M of an airport listed in Skytrax’s top 20 best airports. Skytrax is an airline rating organization based in United Kingdom. Some of those who attended the pre-bid conference said this requirement is too restrictive.

Another requirement is for bidders to have experience in O&M of an international airport for at least three consecutive calendar years with an annual passenger throughput of at least 8 million passengers, while still another says a “[p]rospective bidder must not have any stake in any facility operator within the main island of Luzon, or must not hold, whether direct or indirect, a majority equity interest in a concession holder of an international airport in the Philippines.” — Denise A. Valdez