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Transport chief: No Naia terminal fee hike until significant upgrades

By: Zacarian Sarao - | March 18,2024 - 12:00 PM

The Ninoy Aquino International Airport

FILE PHOTO: The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). PDI / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

MANILA, Philippines—Department of Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista announced on Monday that passenger service charges, or terminal fees, at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) will remain unchanged until improvements are observed.

Bautista estimates that it may take one to two years before noticeable upgrades are seen at the Philippines’ primary international airport.

“Hindi kaagad pwede magtaas ng terminal fee. Ang usapan ay kailangan magkaroon ng notable improvement in service,” Bautista said in an interview over Radyo 630.

(Raising the terminal fee is not immediately possible. The discussion was that there must be a notable improvement in service.)

“Siguro after 1 year or 2 years makikita natin na maganda na ‘yung travel experience. Hindi na masyadong mahaba ‘yung pila, mas malamig ‘yung terminal,” he added.

(Maybe after 1 year or 2 years we will see that the travel experience has improved. The queue is not too long anymore, the terminal is cooler.)

Bautista stressed that San Miguel Corp. (SMC) SAP & Co. Consortium, which won the P170.6-billion Naia rehabilitation project, should meet measures set by the national government to improve the travel experience at Naia.

“Hindi naman basta-basta magagawa ‘yan (That can’t be done), it will take some time,” he said.

Part of the public-private partnership (PPP) agreement for Naia’s upgrade includes the expansion of Naia’s infrastructure, which is estimated to cost at least $2.5 billion, according to Bautista.

“‘Yung [extension ng] Terminal 2 doon sa may Philippine Village Hotel, at doon sa dating Nayong Pilipino; Sa Terminal 3, ‘yung dulo noon pwede magkaroon ng extension, may mga lote pang available doon; Terminal 1, ‘yung parking area doon pwede magkaroon ng counters,” he explained.

(The extension of Terminal 2, at the Philippine Village Hotel and at the former Nayong Pilipino; Terminal 3’s end may be extended as there are many lots still available there; Terminal 1’s parking area can have counters.)

On Monday morning, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. witnessed the signing of the PPP deal between the government and the winning consortium. The deal offered the government a revenue share of 82.16 percent in “other incomes” or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.

Bautista, however, explained that the larger share of terminal fee income will still go to the operator to cover expenses such as salaries for personnel and contractors and costs to run the airport. Bautista said terminal fees account for more than 40 percent of Naia’s total revenue.

SAP & Co. Consortium’s bid bested the bids from GMR Airports Consortium (33.3 percent) and Manila International Airport Consortium (25.91 percent). The Asian Airport Consortium was disqualified for failing to meet all the terms of reference for Naia’s rehabilitation project.

READ MORE: SMC-led group to pay gov’t P30B upfront for Naia deal

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TAGS: airport, airports, NAIA, Ninoy Aquino International Airport, San Miguel Corp.

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