Philippines Draws 4 Bids for $3 Billion Airport Upgrade


The Philippines' main international airport upgrade, valued at 170.6 billion pesos ($3 billion), garnered interest from four bidders in the recent auction, as announced by the transportation ministry. Considered among the world's poorest international gateways by certain travel service firms, Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the fifth largest in Southeast Asia, requires enhancements to address persistent issues such as chronic flight delays and passenger congestion due to its aging infrastructure.

"This is a very important project of the government as we want all our passengers improved travel experience," Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista said on Wednesday. "You all know this airport is very very congested". Firms that submitted bids were the Manila International Airport Consortium, Asian Airport Consortium, GMR Airports Consortium, and SMC SAP & Co Consortium, the bids and awards committee said.  
The transportation ministry is expected to award in the first quarter the 15-year concession that is extendable by another 10 years.

NAIA handled a record 48 million passengers in 2019 despite its designed capacity of only 32 million passengers. The upgraded airport aims to serve at least 60 million passengers annually from the current 35 million. Previous attempts to modernize the gateway were abandoned due to disputes between airport authorities, contractors, and potential bidders.  

Famous for its white sandy beaches and tropical climate, the Philippines aims to draw in 7.7 million international tourists by 2024, aiming to recover from the impact of the pandemic. This target, while below the pre-pandemic peak of 8.26 million in 2019, is part of the country's efforts to bolster one of Asia's rapidly growing economies.

Current Issue