Proposed USD 1.7 billion Upgrade for the Ninoy Aquino International Airport

May 2023

A consortium composed of six Filipino conglomerates and Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), a US-based investment fund manager, has established the Manila International Airport Consortium (MIAC) and submitted a PHP 100 billion (USD 1.7 billion) unsolicited proposal to the government and entails committed investments in new facilities and advanced technology aimed at transforming the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) into a world-class airport. GIP, known for its experience in operating airports such as London Gatwick and its recent involvement in the acquisition of Sydney Airport, is a minor partner in the consortium.

In December 2022, Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista announced the government’s openness to negotiate the privatization of NAIA and has been working with the Asian Development Bank to establish the terms of reference. Under the Marcos administration’s emphasis on public-private partnerships for infrastructure development, Bautista stated that the government aims to be “investor-friendly” in the privatization of NAIA.

Kevin Tan, director of MIAC, expressed the consortium’s readiness to collaborate with the government and highlighted their expertise, proven solutions, and extensive capital. He emphasized the critical development priority of modernizing and ensuring the long-term sustainability of NAIA, as it serves as the primary gateway airport for the Philippines.

In the previous administration, two major proposals were presented for the rehabilitation of NAIA. One came from the NAIA Consortium, and another was submitted by a consortium comprising Megawide Construction Corp. and Bangalore-based GMR Infrastructure Ltd. However, both proposals were ultimately rejected by the government.

MIAC projects that by 2028, NAIA will have the capacity to efficiently handle up to 62.5 million passengers per year, more than double its current constrained design capacity of 31 million passengers annually. The pre-pandemic passenger traffic in 2019, which reached 48 million passengers, highlights the urgent need for airport upgrades to meet the growing demand.

(Sources: GMA News; Centre for Aviation)

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