PAL shelves plans for $6-B airport
MANILA, Philippines - Philippine Airlines is shelving its plans for a $6 billion international airport, which was supposed to be an alternative to the congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
PAL president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang said the proposed airport project was supposed to have been presented to President Benigno Aquino last month.
He said PAL is waiting for the Aquino government to have a clear policy before it presents its plans for an airport. "I'm just waiting for everyone else to put their cards down. That is when we will present this to the national government," he said.
PAL, jointly owned by tycoon Lucio Tan and San Miguel Corp. (SMC), had earlier proposed to build an airport, but did not specify the location.
Ang also criticized the government for putting restrictions on companies with interests in airlines and airline-related business from bidding for the Mactan-Cebu international airport project.
Under the revised guidelines, "if the prospective bidder is a consortium and any consortium member or such consortium members’ affiliates is an airline-related entity, then such consortium member cannot own or be proposed to own more than 33 percent if the total equity in such consortium."
"If there is more than one consortium member that is an airline-related entity, then such consortium members cannot own or be proposed to own an aggregate of more than 33 percent total equity in such corporation," the guidelines stated.
"If you want the best deal, you let everyone bid. That’s what you call transparent. If you want to be transparent, you have to let everyone join because it will maximize the potential of the project," Ang said.
Ang said there are several countries that already have a multi-airport system. "Is it a good idea for a Filipino company to build something? Our project can co-exist with NAIA and the Clark international airport. I cannot understand the 33 percent restriction,” he said.