THE consortium seeking to rehabilitate Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) will submit to the Department of Transportation (DoTr) by early May a revised proposal to accommodate a shorter concession period, which may rule out the construction of a third runway.
NAIA consortium spokesperson Jose Emmanuel F. Reverente said that the DoTr has asked the group to shorten its proposed concession period of 35 years. This may mean, however, that a third runway, which is key to decongesting the gateway and increasing its capacity, may not be built.
“The DoTr has asked us for a shorter concession, around 15 years. However, with the shorter timeline, a third runway seems unlikely,” Mr. Reverente told reporters on the sidelines of an event Tuesday. DoTr Undersecretary for Planning Ruben S. Reinoso said the government does not want its hands tied with a long concession period.
The consortium will “reconfigure” the proposal to factor in the shorter concession period. Mr. Reverente, however, did not disclose other details of the planned revision, saying that these matters are still under discussion.
He said, however, that the proposed people mover, a transportation system for moving passengers and visitors around the airport complex, remains an “essential part” of the consortium’s proposal.
The consortium submitted on March 1 the original P350-billion proposal. Its members are Aboitiz Infra Capital, Inc., AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp., Alliance Global Group, Inc., AEDC, Filinvest Development Corp., JG Summit Holdings, Inc. and Metro Pacific Investment Corp. (MPIC).
Phase 1 calls for increasing the airport complex’s capacity to 47 million by 2020, and 65 million passengers by 2022. It includes the addition of 250,000 square meters (sq.m.) of floor area, expanding the total to 623,000 sq.m. by 2022 via the expansion of Terminals 1 and 2 (known as the West Hub) and Terminal 3 (East Hub).
Phase 2 involves the construction of a third runway and an integrated hub.
The consortium said last month that it is open to reducing the concession period.
The consortium of GMR Infrastructure Ltd. and Megawide Construction Corp., which submitted a proposal weeks after the NAIA consortium, have expressed “alarm” over plans to modify the terms and features of the latter’s unsolicited proposal.
GMR-Megawide submitted a separate rehabilitation proposal worth $3 billion with an 18-year concession.
Under government rules, the implementing agency must evaluate the proposal submitted first, before assessing other proposals.
AC Infrastructure President Jose Rene D. Almendras has said the consortium could receive a notice to proceed for the rehabilitation proposal as early as year’s end.
Mr. Reverente said talks are moving forward. “We’re pleased by the progress. The fact that they are requesting a shorter concession means they are considering our proposal,” he added. — Patrizia Paola C. Marcelo