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GMR-Megawide challenges ‘super consortium’ for NAIA improvement

Megawide Construction Corp. and its Indian partner, GMR, submitted a $3-billion proposal to upgrade the 70-year-old Ninoy Aquino International Airport, putting the pair in competition with a “super consortium” that has bid for the project.

“As an experienced private operator, we have a deep understanding of the problem experienced by NAIA and we would like offer our take on the solution,” said Louie Ferrer, GMR-Megawide consortium’s authorized representatives.

GMR-Megawide’s proposal prioritizes airfield capacity development while simultaneously enhancing terminal comfort and efficiency. The project plan is divided into three phases, which include construction of taxiways and extension of secondary runway, among others.

The consortium also said they considered the option of adding a third runway that would have to be built on reclaimed land in Manila Bay, but they explained that operational challenges “make this solution unviable.”

“Our detailed master plan takes into account all possible constraints in transforming a fully operational brownfield airport. It aims to maintain the high service levels expected of a world-class airport for the next 18 years,” said Andrew Harrison, another authorized consortium representative.

“It is our belief that the key to unlocking NAIA’s full potential is to optimize the efficiency of the existing airside infrastructure, which will add up to 50 percent more movements for NAIA,” Harrison added.

Once the project is completed, GMR-Megawide said NAIA’s airside facilities and terminals will be able to handle a total annual throughput of 72 million passengers.

Early last month, a team of seven conglomerates with a combined capitalization of more than P2.2 trillion announced they submitted a $6.7-billion offer to upgrade the country’s main international gateway to boost potential capacity to 100 million passengers.

The offer is in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s ambitious infrastructure plan, the group said. The “super consortium” has tapped Changi Airports International Pte. Ltd. to provide technical support in the areas of master planning, operations, optimization and commercial development for the multibillion-dollar proposal.

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