San Miguel wins bid to manage NAIA in Manila

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Manila airport meltdown
The Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. (PHOTO: Shutterstock)

MRO DubaiThe Philippines has named a consortium headed by San Miguel Corp. to lead a $3 billion contract to modernise the country’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in the capital Manila.

San Miguel’s group, which include South Korea’s Incheon International Airport Corp, prevailed over India’s GMR Airports Consortium and Manila International Airport Consortium after it offered the government the biggest share in airport revenues at 82 percent.

“Thanks to DOTR (transportation ministry) for choosing the best deal for our country,” San Miguel President Ramon Ang said ahead of the announcement.

Previous attempts to upgrade the airport, notorious for a regular occurrence of flight backlogs, and more recently power outages, have failed or abandoned because of disputes between airport authorities and contractors.

“Thirty years in the making, we will (finally) be able to privatise the operations and maintenance of the Manila international airport,” Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista told a media briefing. Bautista said the 15-year concession agreement, which could be extended by another 10 years, would be signed with San Miguel within the next 30-days.

Under the deal, the winning bidder is required to nearly double the airport’s capacity to at least 60 million passengers annually from 32 million, and increase air traffic movements to 48 per hour from 30 to 40. In 2019 NAIA handled a record 48 million passengers. Last year, it was hit by a massive power outage that jolted its air traffic control and disrupted 300 flights.

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