In a proactive effort to combat persistent flight delays, congestion, and outdated facilities at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the Philippine government has attracted three potential bidders for its ambitious $3 billion modernization endeavour. This project has a goal to elevate NAIA, which currently ranks among the world’s most problematic international airports, into a premier aviation gateway on the global stage.
The trio of prospective bidders comprises India’s GMR Group, the diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corporation, and a Manila-based consortium. Notably, the Manila consortium had previously submitted an unsolicited proposal valued at $4.9 billion for the comprehensive overhaul of the airport. However, this initial proposal faced rejection from the authorities.
Jaime Bautista, the Philippine transportation secretary, emphasized the critical importance of selecting a bidder with a well-established track record in airport operations and a robust financial standing. These remarks were made during an interview on the sidelines of an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Indonesia.
To attract foreign investors, the Philippine government is preparing to conduct two roadshows. The first is scheduled to take place in Singapore next week, followed by another in Paris in the third week of September. The formal bidding process is slated to commence in the final week of December, with the announcement of the winning bidder anticipated in January.
The selected bidder will shoulder not only the modernization of the airport but also its operation and maintenance. The modernization initiative seeks to double the airport’s capacity, aiming to accommodate approximately 60 million passengers annually. The concession period offered for this colossal project spans 25 years. This significant development signifies a substantial stride in addressing the long-standing challenges faced by NAIA, underscoring the government’s commitment to elevating the airport’s infrastructure and services to align with international standards.