A NEW CONSORTIUM composed of six of the country’s biggest conglomerates and US-based Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) submitted an unsolicited proposal to the government to upgrade the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

The Manila International Airport Consortium (MIAC) in a statement said the unsolicited proposal, valued at over P100 billion, includes a “significant upfront payment to the government and committed investments in new facilities and technology to turn the NAIA into a world-class airport.”

MIAC is composed of Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc., AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp., Asia’s Emerging Dragon Corp., Alliance Global – Infracorp Development, Inc., Filinvest Development Corp., JG Summit Infrastructure Holdings Corp. and GIP. GIP is described as one of the leading airport operators in the world.

“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. 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,” Kevin L. Tan, MIAC director and Alliance Global, Inc. chief executive officer (CEO), said in a statement.

With its proposal, MIAC expects the NAIA will be able to serve up to 62.5 million passengers per annum by 2028. This would be more than double its current capacity of 31 million passengers per annum.

“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,” Josephine Gotianun Yap, MIAC director and Filinvest Development Corp. president and CEO, said in the same statement.

The six conglomerates plus Metro Pacific Investments Corp., had previously submitted a P350-billion unsolicited proposal to rehabilitate the NAIA to the Duterte administration in 2018.

At that time, Megawide Construction Corp. and GMR Infrastructure Ltd. had also submitted a $3-billion proposal to upgrade the NAIA.

Both proposals were rejected by the Duterte administration. — A.H.Halili