Foreign firm eyed to manage NAIA
CATHERINE S. VALENTE
The Manila Times
THE government is considering hiring a private company to manage traffic and increase movement at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said. In an interview with reporters in Malacañang, Marcos said he and other government officials met with representatives of the undisclosed company during his trip to New York in September last year. The President said the company was in Manila “last week to look at the operation of the airport.” “They run several big airports, so we are asking them what they can do, can they come in and help us so that we can increase the traffic through the Manila Airport. And they said, they could. And so they were here last week to look at the operations of the airport and especially since we had that problem on New Year’s Day and this recent outage with the [uninterruptible power supply],” he said. “At most, we will have a management contract. Come in and manage the airport. And they say that they, without changing anything, without new equipment, without building a new runway, can increase the traffic from what is presently they refer to as 35 movements per hour to up to 45 movements per hour. So we want that,” he added. Marcos issued the statement when asked about the issue of privatizing the airport. “There’s no plan to privatize anything. Rather, we do the opposite. No, when Secretary Jimmy Bautista was talking about that, I think he may have been — maybe he misspoke or he was misinterpreted,” he said. “But you cannot privatize an airport, to begin with. They cannot own the airport. A private firm cannot own the airport,” he added. Earlier this month, thousands of passengers were stranded when a power outage in NAIA grounded flights and paralyzed Philippine airspace.