'Super consortium' details P350-billion plan to upgrade NAIA

Jacque Manabat, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 21 2018 07:24 PM | Updated as of Mar 21 2018 10:19 PM

MANILA - A consortium of the country's largest conglomerates on Wednesday presented more details on how they plan to transform the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) into a premier gateway terminal or a regional hub. 

Part of their plan is to construct a "people mover," which may be in the form of a monorail or light rail that will connect the different terminals at the airport complex. 

The P350-billion project aims to improve and expand the current NAIA terminals under the first phase, while the second phase will involve the construction of a new runway and an integrated hub.

The so-called 'super consortium' is made of seven conglomerates, namely: Aboitiz InfraCapital, AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation, Alliance Global Group, Asia's Emerging Dragon Corporation, Filinvest Development Corporation, JG Summit Holdings, and Metro Pacific Investments Corporation.

The super consortium said the 3-kilometer people mover would help transfer commuters around NAIA's three terminals, and will be linked to LRT-1. A subsidiary of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation, which is part of the group, currently operates the train line. 

With the people mover, there will be no need to go outside the NAIA Complex to connect to another NAIA terminal, the group said.

Besides linking to the LRT-1, the group also proposed to make NAIA terminals accessible through the planned Metro Manila subway. 

The group also plans to put up larger check-in and baggage areas, more space for well-wishers and walk-through zones, as well as centralized immigration and security zones in Terminals 1 and 3. 

The consortium also aims to double the floor area of the terminals to 623,000 square meters from 364,000 sqm.

If it receives the 'Notice to Proceed' by year's end, the group said it plans to increase the airport's passenger capacity from the current 31 million annually to 47 million in 2020, and 65 million in 2022. 

"Magiging 50 percent and more overcapacity ng NAIA. Kung wala tayo gawin, nasa 60 million na dadaan sa airport. Kailangan may gawin tayo sa pinakamadaling panahon," said Jose Miguel Reverente, spokesperson of the group.

The second phase of the project involves putting up a third runway parallel to the NAIA's longest runway. 

The new runway will be built on reclaimed land in Merville Parañaque, and will have a satellite terminal connected to the people mover. 

This integrated hub is designed to accommodate 90 million passengers per year and will have an additional floor area of 610,000 sqm.

The NAIA consortium has tapped Singapore's Changi Airport, which has experience in 59 other airports in various roles, as technical consultant partner. 

Reverente said Changi will not compete with the Philippines as a regional hub.

"Changi has their catchment area; there will be no conflict of interest. The consortium is 100 percent Filipino-owned, and we are their client," Reverente said.

Last March 12, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) declared a "complete submission" on the P350-billion offer of the consortium to improve and expand NAIA.

If the DOTr gives "original proponent status" to the NAIA consortium, the offer would go to the National Economic and Development Authority for assessment and approval.

Besides the offer of the super consortium, the government is also entertaining proposals from two other groups. 

Filipino-Indian consortium GMR-Megawide is also proposing to upgrade NAIA at the cost of P156.3 billion. 

Sangley Airport Infrastructure Group owned by billionaire Henry Sy and media magnate Wilson Tieng, meanwhile, plans to build a new airport at Sangley Point in Cavite at the cost of around $12 billion.