LISTED Megawide Construction Corp., along with Bangalore-based airport operator GMR Infrastructure Ltd., is open to joining the bidding for the P12.55-billion Clark International Airport Expansion Project which the government will offer to investors this month, a company executive said.

“We’d like to study the terms of reference first but of course we are open to participation in the project,” GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. President Manuel Louie B. Ferrer said in a text message when asked whether the joint venture firm — which currently operates the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) — is keen on joining the bidding.

“We fully support the development of Clark. We also hope that priority is placed on the development of our airports system since delays in one airport greatly affect flights in MCIA and also other airports,” he added.

GMR-Megawide had earlier expressed interest in developing the gateway in Clark. Last year, the company submitted a $5-billion unsolicited proposal to develop the Clark airport to the government, but it was rejected.

The government earlier this year announced it will pursue the project on its own first and eventually bid out the operations and maintenance (O&M) of Clark.

The Clark International Airport Expansion Project — which will involve national government financing and public-private partnerships (PPP) for operation and maintenance — includes building a 82,600-square-meter terminal building that will be designed to accommodate eight million passengers a year, nearly double the current 4.2 million capacity, and should be completed by 2019.

Clark’s new terminal will be the first of the hybrid PPP model under the Duterte administration where the government builds the infrastructure and then the private sector will be in charge of its maintenance and operations.

Bidding for both the construction and O&M of the Clark airport will happen this year, Vivencio B. Dizon, BCDA president and chief executive officer earlier said.

The government has been promoting the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Clark as an alternative gateway to help decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, which accounts for nearly 90% of all domestic passengers in the Philippines and more than 80% of all international passengers.

Clark International Airport, located within the Clark Freeport Zone, is 43.2 nautical miles northwest of Manila with a current annual capacity of 4.2 million passengers. The new development plan for the Clark Airport, drawn up in cooperation with France’s Aeroports de Paris, seeks to initially double the gateway’s capacity. — Imee Charlee C. Delavin