Loan deal for NAIA upgrade expected this year


SY-LED conglomerate SM Investments Corp. (SMIC) said it is preparing the funding for the New NAIA Infrastructure Corp. for the modernization of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

“There’s no problem [with the discussion.]  I think they have the substance and we believe that we have to improve NAIA. So, we are helping,” SMIC Vice-Chair Teresita Sy-Coson told reporters last week. 

The group has already secured funds for the NAIA project from Sy-led BDO Unibank, Inc., according to SMC President Ramon S. Ang.

“They are [going to take over] by September, right? I do not know about the government timeline but after that we can work together,” Ms. Coson said.

In March, the group led by SMC — the New NAIA Infrastructure Corp., formerly called SMC SAP & Co. Consortium — signed the P170.6-billion concession agreement to operate, maintain, and upgrade NAIA.

The group, consisting of SMC, RMM Asian Logistics, Inc., RLW Aviation Development, Inc., and Incheon International Airport Corp., will take over the airport operations by September.

Ms. Coson said SMIC is not interested in acquiring shares in the consortium.

“No, we are just a bank. Just a lender,” she said.

The New NAIA Infrastructure is planning to build a new passenger terminal building with a total capacity of 35 million passengers per year as part of its commitment to decongest the airport.

The group won the NAIA offering the highest bid for the project at about 82.1% of NAIA revenues to the government.

Aside from the revenue share, the winning bidder is also required to pay an up-front payment of P30 billion and P2 billion annually, according to the Transportation department. — Ashley Erika O. Jose