Aboitiz eyes P148-B upgrade of 4 regional airports

By Leslie Gatpolintan

March 7, 2018, 7:56 pm

MANILA -- Aboitiz InfraCapital, the infrastructure business unit of the Aboitiz Group, on Wednesday submitted an unsolicited proposal to modernize four regional airports for PHP148 billion over a 35-year concession period, in its bid to support the government’s infrastructure program.  

The company aims to transform the Iloilo International Airport, Bacolod-Silay Airport, Laguindingan Airport and New Bohol International Airport in Panglao into world-class airports.

The first three are already operating above capacity and require urgent rehabilitation. These regional airports have been experiencing tremendous growth in the last few years and struggled to follow the pace of development.  

The Bohol airport is targeted to open the island further to the international tourism market as part of the national tourism strategy and at the same time decongest Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

"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," Aboitiz InfraCapital Chief Executive Officer and President Sabin Aboitiz said in a statement to the local bourse.

Aboitiz said the pooling of resources to develop, operate and maintain all four airports is required in order to unlock synergies that would benefit all stakeholders, including the government.  

“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 the local economy,” he said. (PNA)