ABOITIZ Equity Ventures, Inc (AEV), through wholly-owned subsidiary AboitizInfra Capital, Inc, submitted on Wednesday a P148-billion unsolicited proposal to rehabilitate and operate regional airports.
In a disclosure on Wednesday, AEV said it was seeking to upgrade, expand, operate, and maintain four major Philippine gateways—the Iloilo International Airport, Bacolod-Silay Airport, Laguindingan Airport, and New Bohol International Airport in Panglao—for a concession period of 35 years.
AEV said the move was aimed at helping decongest Metro Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and to also transform the four regional airports to world-class facilities.
The Iloilo, Bacolod and Laguindingan airports are already operating above capacity while New Bohol is seen to open the island further to the international tourism market as part of the national tourism strategy.
“Through this unsolicited proposal, we intend to support the government’s Build, Build, Build program as we develop sustainable airport facilities that reflect and support the tremendous economic and tourism potential of the Philippines’ regions and provinces,” AboitizInfra Capital President and Chief Executive Officer Sabin Aboitiz said.
“Not only will none of the airports require any form of subsidy, the combined potential of the four regional gateways results in overall gains for both the government and local economy,” he added.
AEV said its proposal is driven by innovation such as “green airports” where gateways will be planned, implemented, and operated with the least environmental impact utilizing a bespoke planning program, as well as the concerned airports concept, where technology will be leveraged to enhance passenger experience.
The Philippine government earlier identified regional airport modernization as a critical infrastructure project. It launched a tender for a public-private partnership for five airports under the Build-Operate-Transfer Law in 2014, but this was canceled last year.
AEV said it will start rehabilitating the four gateways by 2019 once it secures the original proponent status from the government. The upgrade is expected to be completed in 2021.
Besides the regional airports, AEV is also part of the so-called “Super Consortium” of seven major Philippine conglomerates that have submitted a proposal to the government to rehabilitate NAIA.