ABOITIZ InfraCapital Inc. is keen on resuming talks with the government on its bid to operate and manage the Bohol-Panglao International Airport (BPIA).

“We remain keen on the airport projects as we believe that these are vital in reviving the economy. As with all of the Aboitiz Group’s projects and businesses, we are assessing Covid-19’s impact on our proposals,” company president and chief executive officer Cosette Canilao said.

Canilao noted the need for the government and private sector to work more closely to revive the travel and tourism industry, citing it as one of the hardest-hit sectors by the Covid-19 crisis.

The group’s infrastructure arm said that public-private partnership (PPP) can help fill in any gaps caused by funding reallocations amid the current crisis.

“We understand that the government earmarked funding from other programs, including infrastructure projects, to address the Covid-19 impact. The private sector through PPP, could take up the void that the reallocation from infrastructure projects has created,” Canilao said.

Aside from BPIA, Aboitiz InfraCapital is also bidding for the Laguindingan Airport in Cagayan de Oro City and is part of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport consortium eyeing to rehabilitate the country’s main gateway.

The National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) Board gave a green light to the group’s unsolicited proposal for BPIA on Nov. 29, 2019.

The company was granted the original proponent status (OPS) for its unsolicited plan to take over BPIA. The OPS gives the proponent the right to match any competing offer in a Swiss challenge. The project, with an estimated capital expenditure of P3.8 billion, involves the operations and maintenance (O&M) of the BPIA, including initial enhancement and installation of internal fit-outs of existing facilities (Phase 1 from 2020 to 2021), as well as optimization and reconfiguration as dictated by traffic demand (Phase 2 from 2026 to 2027).

The firm had partnered with Irish airport operator daa International for the future upgrade, expansion and O&M of the BPIA. (CSL)