By Ma. Cristina Arayata

Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 (PNA photo by Cristina Arayata)

MANILA – The awarding to the winning bidder for the rehabilitation of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) is set for the first quarter of next year, with the turn-over of operations by the second half of 2024, Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) officer-in-charge Bryan Co said Thursday.

“We will give time for the eventual operator to prepare. Usually, it takes around three to six months depending on the things they have to finalize. We are expecting the turnover to the private proponent by the second half of next year,” he said.

The winning bidder, he said, is expected to improve the NAIA complex, including facilities such as the runway, taxiway, and ramp areas as well as the firefighting facility.

He said the MIAA will monitor the key performances and service level of the private proponent.

“They are expected to take over the whole operation and plan for the immediate rehabilitation of all critical areas,” Co said.

Eight proponents, including a consortium of the country’s biggest conglomerates, have so far bought the bid documents for the PHP170.6 billion project.

Co said bidding for the PPP (public-private partnership) is still open, but noted that any addition to the current eight bidders “is very less likely now” due to a very short period until the Dec. 27 bid submission date.

Co, meanwhile, asked for the public’s understanding as there would be “some disruptions” when the rehabilitation takes place.

The airport’s rehabilitation project is expected to increase the annual passenger capacity from 32 million to 62 million. (PNA)