Marcos Administration Will Revive NAIA Rehab Plans


There have been several attempts over the last few years to rehabilitate the aging Ninoy Aquino International Airport, but all have been shelved for one reason or another. 

But the administration of current President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. intends to move forward with its own plans to revive the stalled project.

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Jaime Bautista said it would explore all funding modalities for the project. 

“We will invite the private sector to revisit the possibility of doing a PPP for NAIA,” he said, referring to Public-Private Partnership (PPP), a program that Bautista said is “a crucial pillar of this administration.”  


Here's the Brief and Sordid Tale of the NAIA Rehabilitation Project

What Happened to Efforts to Rehabilitate NAIA?

The administration of former President Rodrigo Duterte officially discontinued the project after halting negotiations with two groups who have expressed interest in taking on the monumental job of improving the decades-old main aviation hub of the country: the NAIA Superconsortium and a consortium led by Megawide Construction Corp.

The Superconsortium was a group comprised of seven the country’s biggest conglomerates that submitted a P102-billion unsolicited proposal for the NAIA rehab project. 

The NAIA Consortium was composed of Aboitiz InfraCapital Incorporated, Ayala-led AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation, Andrew Tan-owned Alliance Global Group Incorporated, Lucio Tan’s Asia's Emerging Dragon Corporation, Filinvest Development Corporation of the Gotianun family, Gokongwei-led JG Summit Holdings, and Manny Pangilinan-chaired Metro Pacific Investments Corporation.

The group’s proposal, which it submitted in February 2018, involved the reconfiguration of the existing airport terminal to increase capacity from 31 million to 65 million passengers annually. It also involved the development of a new passenger terminal building, improvements in the apron baggage and boarding areas, and upgrades of the gateway’s airside facilities such as the construction of new taxiways and the provision of modernized air traffic management equipment. 


A month later, in March 2018, Megawide and Bangalore, India-based partner GMR Infrastructure Inc., also submitted an unsolicited proposal to decongest and redevelop the airport. 

The NAIA Superconsortium revealed that it had been granted original proponent status (OPS) by the Manila International Airport Authority and the DOTr. However, MIAA withdrew the OPS in July 2020, reportedly after the group proposed changes to the terms of the proposal.

A few days later, on July 15, MIAA awarded OPS to Megawide for the NAIA rehabilitation project. The company’s updated proposal cost P109 billion under a 25-year concession period. Aside from optimizing existing runways, Megawide and GMR proposed the construction of a new terminal, improvements to the apron and taxiways, relocation of the cargo terminal, and provision of a rail-based people mover system to allow passengers to hop from one terminal to another.  

However, this OPS, too, was revoked after the DOTr raised several concerns and issues, including “financial capability” and “joint and solidary liability agreement.”

Bautista, who is a former president of Philippine Airlines, said the government should put prime focus on developing airports, including NAIA. 

“Maybe Megawide and the NAIA Consortium could participate in this initiative,” he said. “The discussions should start within the year, but I’ve met with some of the members of NAIA Consortium, and they have given us the interest to start construction.”

Other groups that had forwarded their own versions of the NAIA rehab proposals include the Philippine Airports and Ground Services Inc. and San Miguel Corp. (SMC).

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SMC is already in the thick of construction of the New Manila International Airport in Bulacan.

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