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NAIA ‘privatized’ by Q1 2024

June 7, 2023 Jun I. Legaspi 292 views

THE privatization of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) may possibly be implemented by the first quarter of 2024, Transportation Undersecretary for Aviation and Airports Roberto Lim said Wednesday.

“That is a very tough and tight schedule. We can say that is doable in the first quarter of next year [2024]. It is doable that there will be a conclusion that could possibly be proclaimed by the government,” Lim said.

“That takes time. If there is more than one participant, we will have to talk to all of them. It will take time,” he added.

Lim explained that NAIA’s privatization will have “upsides” in terms of efficiency in passenger and flight movement and generate income for the government.

“There is a lot of upside when [you] upgrade NAIA. You introduce efficiencies. That means you can process more passengers, you can take in more flights, and more revenues – means larger share for the government,” he said.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) official likewise clarified issues surrounding the airport’s privatization, including the role of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) once the privatization takes place and the airport employees.

“The relationship between MIAA and the concessionaire will be regulator-operator. The MIAA will continue to operate as a body that will regulate, oversee,” he explained.

“Generally no loss of employment. Airport employees will be offered the opportunity to work when the airport facilities are privatized,” he added.

Lim stressed that all airport assets at the NAIA still belong to the government, with the private concessionaire limited to an operations and management role.

Last Friday, DOTr and MIAA submitted their joint proposal for the NAIA solicited Public Private Partnership (PPP) Project for approval by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Board, giving the private concessionaire 15 years to operate the airport and recover its investment.