MANILA — The Department of Transportation said Monday it would seek fresh bids for the rehabilitation of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport this year.
Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista said the country's main international gateway is operating beyond its 35-million passenger capacity, resulting in congestion in the airport.
"We're looking at the possibility of doing a concession with the private sector in improving Manila International Airport," he told ANC's "Headstart," referring to NAIA's old name.
The previous administration sought to upgrade NAIA and received proposals from NAIA Consortium, made up of the country's biggest conglomerates, and the Megawide-GMR. But proposals from both groups later fell through.
In July 2020, the government terminated NAIA Consortium's bid after the group asked for changes in its original proposal saying it would be difficult to finance the project due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In December 2020, the Manila International Airport Authority revoked Megawide's original proponent status in the bidding for the project.
The MIAA did not specify the reasons for the move, but economic managers had previously raised doubts about Megawide’s ability to finance the project, citing the company’s limited capital.
Amid congestion woes in NAIA, Bautista said there is a need to construct additional terminals and improve the jetways.
With his initial talks with some members of the previous consortiums, Bautista is looking at shortening the concession period.
"We will start with 15 years and see how we can have a very efficient airport system in Luzon," he said.
As Bautista takes over DOTr, one of his plans is to further modernize NAIA.
"I would like to have a facility, which is comparable to the facilities in our neighboring countries. Malaysia, for one, has a very good airport system," he said.
Bautista also vowed to improve the Odette-damaged Tacloban Airport and Bohol-Panglao International Airport, and complete Mactan-Cebu International Airport's second runway.