Aboitiz optimistic of airport projects in 2019
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.