JUST around one week after it ended talks with a consortium of the country’s biggest conglomerates, the Manila International Airport Authority granted Megawide Construction Corporation and partner GMR Infrastructure original proponent status (OPS) for the upgrading of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
In a regulatory filing Friday, July 17, Megawide said it received a letter dated July 15 from MIAA about the grant of the OPS for the project.
“In a letter dated 15 July 2020, the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) granted the consortium led by Megawide Construction Corporation with GMR as partner operator, the original proponent status (OPS) for the development of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport,” Megawide told the Philippine Stock Exchange.
If awarded to Megawide and GMR, the NAIA upgrading project would be their second airport project.
Megawide and GMR, through joint venture GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC), are undertaking the P17.5-billion Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) upgrading project.
GMCAC built the new MCIA terminal, which started operations in June 2018. It recently completed the renovation of the old terminal. MCIA is now capable of serving more than 12 million passengers annually.
With OPS for the NAIA project, Megawide and GMR have the right to match any other bid in a Swiss challenge, a procurement process that invites other companies to bid for the project as mandated under the Build Operate Transfer Law.
The MIAA terminated talks with the NAIA Consortium after the consortium said it “can only move forward with the project under the options it has proposed”.
The consortium was composed of Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc. of the Aboitiz Group, AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation of the Ayala Group, Alliance Global Group Inc., Asia’s Emerging Dragon Corporation of LT Group, Filinvest Development Corporation and JG Summit Holdings Incorporated. Metro Pacific Investments Corporation had pulled out from the group.
They submitted in February 2018 an unsolicited proposal to expand, upgrade, and transform the NAIA. Later that year, the consortium was granted the OPS for the project.
The group, however, proposed changes in the assumptions and plans for the project in view of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on airline travel, airline operations and airport passenger traffic.
The government rejected the proposed new options. (Marites Villamor-Ilano/SunStar Philippines)