Manila Airport modernisation project bidders confirmed: part two – four-airport conundrum persists

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Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport is one of several around the world that have been badly in need of a makeover for years, with annual passenger numbers running at 50% over capacity.

A dreadful experience suffered by Fraport almost 20 years ago when its work on a new Terminal 3 was forcibly abandoned, well into the project, queered the pitch for external investment for many years.

But it picked up again from 2017, with several unsolicited bids made to modernise the facility.

Now the government of the Philippines has firmed up a formal bid procedure for a 25-year PPP contract to rehabilitate, operate, optimise, and maintain the airport, and this has attracted three bids, all from parties previously to have shown an interest. Each has its strengths and weaknesses.

Whichever of them wins will face hefty investment demands, an upfront payment, and annuity fees to rescue a creaking airport that before long will face direct local competition from three others.

This is part two of a two-part report.

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