The P2-billion contract for the redevelopment and upgrade of the Subic Bay International Airport (SBIA) has attracted three companies with extensive track records in building high-volume, high traffic, and advanced technology systems for international airport operations and maintenance.
SBIA Chairman Martin B. Diño said on Monday the three companies are: AIA Airways, Intercontinental Pacific Airways, and RIL International & Link Co., Ltd.
Diño said this will turn the airport into a major international gateway for travelers to the Philippines. “The three companies will handle redevelopment of the Subic airport. We want it to be fully operational again, and to be at par with the best airports in Asia and the world,” he said.
With these offers, Diño wrote a letter to Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade seeking the transport chief’s approval of the firms’ participation in SBIA’s redevelopment.
AIA Airways wants to build a $1.5-billion logistics center and transshipment hub for cargo airline operations that will be supported by a maintenance repair station and a world-class aviation institution in the tradition of the US Dallas Forth Worth. It is projected to generate 800 new jobs.
RIL International & Global Link Co., Ltd has submitted a $1.5-billion proposal to lease, develop, upgrade, modernize and operate the SBIA; this include provisions for a modern airport terminal, hotels, theme parks and a sports complex.
Intercontinental Pacific Airways expressed interest in building a $48-million airline operations center including maintenance, repair and overhaul operations. It is projected to employ 610 workers.
The SBIA boasts of a long runway fitted to handle long-haul, wide-body jets and heavy air transport, but it has been mostly idle since mid-2009 when the US-based logistics giant Federal Express (FedEx) closed down its Asia-Pacific transshipment hub.
Dino revealed that three of the airport’s equipment valued at half a billion pesos could not be accounted for by the previous administration, which turned over the Freeport facility to Dino in September last year.
But the new SBMA leadership is pushing ahead with the airport’s upgrade, Dino said, “because we want to make the Subic International Airport operational anywhere from six months to one year.”