Six of the Philippines' biggest conglomerates have revived a proposal to upgrade its congested main airport, signaling confidence in air travel recovery.
Alliance Global Group Inc., JG Summit Holdings Inc., Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc., Ayala Corp., Filinvest Development Corp. and Asia's Emerging Dragon Corp. submitted to the government a 100 billion-peso ($1.8-billion) proposal to modernize and increase the capacity of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, they said in a joint statement. Also part of the group is US-based infrastructure investor and airport operator Global Infrastructure Partners.
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The proposal includes a "significant upfront payment to the government" and seeks to more than double the airport's annual capacity to 62.5 million passengers by 2028, according to the statement. Manila's main gateway has been plagued by congestion and flight disruptions, with a power-supply problem cancelling hundreds of flights in January.
The consortium in 2018 submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte a proposal to upgrade the airport in the capital, but was rejected at the height of the pandemic. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s administration has expressed openness to tap the private sector to manage the Manila airport, as part of a wider infrastructure push.