Stock - Manila Airport
A view of the Ninoy International Airport, Manila's only aviation gateway. Image Credit: Reuters

Manila: A consortium led by Philippine conglomerate San Miguel Holdings Corp. won a $3 billion government bid to spruce up Manila’s main aviation gateway, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), it was announced on Thursday.

The group led by San Miguel Corp’s billionaire CEO Ramon Ang, vowed to spruce up the airport and bring it up to speed with global standards after its offer of 82.16 per cent government share in airport revenues emerged as the highest in a three-way contest, the government has announced.

The Php171-billion NAIA contract encompasses rehabilitation, operation, and maintenance of the country’s main airport.

'World-class gateway

As the highest bidder, SMC expressed its eagerness to spearhead the modernisation of the Manila airport.

NAIA has the capacity to handle 31 million passengers a year.

In 2019, the year before the COVID pandemic grounded travel across the word, traffic reached 47.9 million passengers.

The makeover aims to raise passenger capacity from 32 million to 60 million a year; and improve the NAIA complex, including facilities such as the runway, taxiway, and ramp areas as well as the firefighting facility.

“Our aim is to elevate NAIA to world-class standard, ensuring an exceptional experience for all travelers with first-rate services and facilities. Our commitment is to ensure this project brings significant value and advantages to our nation, our government, and our kababayans (countrymen),” said SMC President and CEO Ramon Ang in a statement.

Ang, 70, listed by Forbes as one the wealthiest Filipinos, with an estimated net worth of $3.4 billion, also commended the DOTr for their “transparent and equitable bidding process.”


SMC is also currently involved in the ongoing development of the New Manila International Airport (NMIA) project in Bulacan.

“Our vision is to create an integrated airport network that not only improves the travel experience but also supports sustainable economic growth and elevates the Philippines as a prime hub for tourism, business, and investment in the region,” Ang added.

Ramon Ang Filipino billionaire
Filipino billionaire Ramon Ang, President and CEO of San Miguel Corp., a major Philippine conglomerate. Image Credit: Bloomberg

Formed by San Miguel Holdings Corp., RMM Asian Logistics Inc., RLW Aviation Development Inc., and Incheon International Airport Corp., the SMC SAP Company Consortium offered a bid of 82.16 per cent revenue share to the government during the opening of financial proposals for NAIA.

Terms of reference

According to the terms of reference, the percentage revenue share to the government is the primary bid parameter for the auction, indicating that a higher proposed revenue share is preferable.

SMC SAP is formed by the San Miguel Holdings Corp., RMM Asian Logistics, Inc., RLW Aviation Development, Inc. and Incheon International Airport Corp.

After evaluating their submissions, the Department of Transportation's Bids and Awards Committee (BPAC) determined that all bidders met the requirements, indicating they provided comprehensive documentation including financial plans, models, and other necessary paperwork.

Prior to the financial review, the DOTr underwent an evaluation of the technical proposals of the original four bidding groups who met the initial bidding deadline last December 2023.

Other bidders included Manila International Airport Consortium, comprising Aboitiz InfraCapital, Ayala’s AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp., Alliance Global-Infracorp, Filinvest, and JG Summit Holdings, with a bid of 25.91 percent, and GMR Airports Consortium, with a bid of 33.3 percent.

Asian Airport Consortium was scrubbed from the bidding process overs its non-compliance with NAIA's technical proposals, according to a DOTr official.