By The Manila Times
May 11, 2023
THE Department of Transportation on Wednesday said it expected the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) to approve the development and expansion of three provincial airports proposed by Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc. before the end of May.
The airports in question are the Laguindingan Airport, Bohol-Panglao International Airport and the Bicol International Airport.
Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista told the participants of the Makati Business Club Forum that he is hoping that these airports will be included in the NEDA-Investment Coordination Committee Cabinet Meeting on May 29 for approval.
“These unsolicited proposals were submitted during the past administration, but were fast-tracking the completion of these, and hopefully CAAP (Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines) will be able to submit all the documents, which are being requested by NEDA,” said Bautista.
He added that the other proposals to modernize the airports in Iloilo, Puerto Princesa, Davao, Bacolod and Kalibo are still undergoing review.
“With the new IRR, we requested the proponents to update their proposals. We are expecting the updated proposals within the next few weeks,” he added.
The Transportation chief added that there is also a proposal to expand and modernize the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
NAIA passenger traffic reached 48 million passengers in 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic, which necessitated the need to upgrade the airport to meet this growing demand.
At present, NAIA’s current design capacity allows it to serve about 31 million passengers.
“We are working with the Asian Development Bank as our advisor to finalize the terms of reference, but even with that last April 27 we received an unsolicited proposal for the operations and maintenance of the NAIA from a group of conglomerates and we have acknowledged the receipts of their proposal,” he said.
The Manila International Airport Consortium had submitted a proposal to upgrade and modernize NAIA for more than P100 billion to transform it into a world-class airport.
The consortium said that should these plans materialize, NAIA would be able to serve up to 62.5 million passengers a year by 2028 — or more than double than its current design capacity.