Aboitiz op­ti­mistic of air­port projects in 2019

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Business -

MANILA -- Aboitiz In­fraCap­i­tal Inc (AIC) is con­fi­dent that it will be able to start break­ing ground for its var­i­ous re­gional air­port projects across the coun­try this year.

The com­pany said it ex­pects the gov­ern­ment to ap­prove its un­so­licited pro­pos­als for the op­er­a­tions, main­te­nance and ex­pan­sion of the Bo­hol-Panglao In­ter­na­tional Air­port and Laguindin­gan Air­port in Misamis Ori­en­tal.

“We were granted orig­i­nal pro­po­nent sta­tus (OPS) by the Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion (DOTr) for the Bo­hol-Panglao on Septem­ber 3, 2018. We are hope­ful that the gov­ern­ment will al­low us to op­er­ate these two re­gional gate­ways this year,” AIC Chief Op­er­at­ing Of­fi­cer Cosette Cani­lao said in a state­ment on Tues­day.

The new Bo­hol In­ter­na­tional Air­port, which is lo­cated on Panglao Is­land, is in­tended to re­place the ex­ist­ing Tag­bi­la­ran Air­port and is pro­jected to ac­com­mo­date around two mil­lion pas­sen­gers per year. It is ex­pected to lead to fur­ther in­creases in tourist ar­rivals to Bo­hol prov­ince once this be­comes op­er­a­tional.

Mean­while, the AIC said that it has se­lected multi­na­tional de­sign and en­gi­neer­ing firm, Arup, as con­sul­tant on the tech­ni­cal stud­ies and mas­ter­plan for its PHP 42.7 bil­lion project for the de­vel­op­ment of the Laguindin­gan Air­port.

The com­pany clar­i­fied that its of­fer that was sub­mit­ted to the DOTr last De­cem­ber was not a re­vi­sion but was only made to ad­dress var­i­ous con­cerns raised by the depart­ment on its orig­i­nal pro­posal that was sub­mit­ted in Au­gust last year.

“It is not a re­vised of­fer but a re­sponse to DOTr’s re­quests for ad­di­tional info,” ac­cord­ing to Cani­lao.

AIC has ear­lier sub­mit­ted a PHP 148 bil­lion un­so­licited pro­posal to mod­ern­ize Iloilo In­ter­na­tional Air­port, Bacolod-Si­lay Air­port, Laguindin­gan Air­port and New Bo­hol In­ter­na­tional Air­port for a 35 year con­ces­sion pe­riod.

How­ever, this was re­jected by the DOTr in April as it prefers in­ter­ested bid­ders to sub­mit sep­a­rate pro­pos­als for each air­port projects.

AIC, which is the in­fra­struc­ture busi­ness unit of the Aboitiz Group, is also part of the NAIA Con­sor­tium which was granted orig­i­nal pro­po­nent sta­tus by the DOTr and Manila In­ter­na­tional Air­port Au­thor­ity on its pro­posal to re­ha­bil­i­tate and ex­pand the fa­cil­i­ties at the Ni­noy Aquino In­ter­na­tional Air­port.

“We are hope­ful that the gov­ern­ment will grant the con­sor­tium the no­tice to pro­ceed this 2019 so that we can com­mence the ex­pan­sion of NAIA to ac­com­mo­date 65 mil­lion pas­sen­gers per year,” NAIA Con­sor­tium spokesper­son Jimbo Rev­er­ente said.

The NAIA Con­sor­tium’s pro­posal will still have to un­dergo eval­u­a­tion by the Na­tional Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity and then sub­jected to a Swiss chal­lenge, wherein other par­ties can sub­mit bids that can match or sur­pass those sub­mit­ted by the orig­i­nal pro­po­nent.

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