Naia group gets ultimatum

NAIA

A deadline looms over the group of seven local businesses that earlier offered to upgrade and expand the overfilled Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia)—the Philippines’s main air entryway in Manila.

Arthur Tugade, Transportation Secretary stated on Tuesday that he had given the Naia Group up until April 30 this year to wrap up talks on its P102-billion unsolicited proposal.

“I will stop talking to them if nothing happens [by April 30],” Tugade stated during the Transport Talks forum prepared by the Department of Transportation (DOTr). Tugade further that the DOTr would then be free to pursue its own advancements for Naia.

Jose Reverente, spokesperson for Naia Consortium, cited on Tuesday that “we will comply with the stated deadline of Secretary Tugade.”

Tugade said during the forum that the deadline was essential since talks have dragged on for too long. He also asserted that the DOTr was not the cause of the delay.

While specific negotiation points were not detailed, Transportation Undersecretary for Aviation Manuel Tamayo noted deficiencies in Naia Consortium’s original proposal.

He said the DOTr required more information on the proposed “people mover” that would transport passengers across Naia’s passenger terminals. Tamayo added a studied proposal was submitted by the consortium last March 20.

Naia Consortium is eager to augment capacity at the massive airport complex, which has limited expansion options given its location surrounded by dense commercial and residential areas within Metro Manila.

On its offer, it will increase capacity to support 65 million passengers annually versus Naia’s design capacity of 31 million passengers a year. Furthermore, hourly takeoff and landing activities will rise to 52 movements, up by a third. Naia presently serves more than 40 million passengers a year.

Naia Consortium’s members comprise of Ayala Corp., Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Alliance Global Group Inc., Asia Emerging Dragon, Filinvest Development Corp, JG Summit Holdings Inc. and Metro Pacific Investments Corp. Its technical partner is Singapore’s Changi Airports International.

Their proposal was first acquiesced in February of the previous year. The consortium won original proponent status, granting it a major advantage in a Swiss challenge process, by September that same year.

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