NAIA Consortium: We’ll follow process for permits, approvals for airport expansion offer

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NAIA'S runway. INTERAKSYON FILE

MANILA – The NAIA Consortium of seven major firms said Monday it will follow the permitting and approval process for its unsolicited proposal to upgrade and expand the NAIA.

“The seven Filipino conglomerates comprising the NAIA Consortium stand on uncompromising legal compliance for the approval of its proposal,” Jimbo Reverente, consortium spokesperson, said in a statement.

He said the country urgently needs a proper national gateway now and asked all parties to help instead of impede the process to move forward so the country, the Filipino flyers, and the foreign tourists and investors will have finally a proper welcome and send-off venue.

“These seven conglomerates set aside their individual competitive spirit for country. We ask others to do the same or at least let the proper process take its course before raising questions that are based on speculation,” he said.

The BOT rules, he added, call for negotiations between the proponent and the government to find the best iteration of a new NAIA and that is where changes, or “tweaking”, will happen.

“For us, our proposal provides the short, medium, and long-term solutions to NAIA’s problems. However, we are flexible and can adjust to what the government wants. Otherwise, we can proceed to deliver on our promise as soon as we are cleared for take-off,” he said.

Reverente said if the government expedites the approval process and gives the notice to proceed by early next year, the consortium can expand NAIA’s terminal capacity from the present 31 million passengers per year to 47 million by 2020 and to 65 million by 2022.

Last year, NAIA accommodated 42 million. This year, the throughput is expected at 44 million.

“If we do nothing now to improve capacity, our growing passenger volume will continue to suffer and our economic growth will be hampered. In our eyes, this is a national crisis,” he added.

The consortium is waiting to be awarded an original proponent status after its proposal was recently declared as complete in terms of documentation, a milestone in the approval process.