Gov’t fast-tracking privatization of NAIA

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 13) — The government is fast-tracking the privatization of the country’s main gateway for its upgrade and to increase capacity, a Cabinet official said.

Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista said his agency targets to start reviewing proposals by the end of the first quarter of the year.

“We will work and fast-track the privatization of the NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport)...,” Bautista told the Senate Committee on Public Services on Thursday. “We will fast-track the conditions of the terms of reference.”

In a statement on Friday, the transportation department said the airport “can only handle 40 to 44 movements of aircraft an hour.”

“Should its privatization push through, the NAIA can increase its aircraft capacity to 50 or even 55 aircraft movements,” it said.

Bautista first bared in late December plans to privatize NAIA. At the time, he said they were working on the implementing rules and regulation of the public-private partnership to make it "investor-friendly."

NAIA hogged headlines due to the air traffic system breakdown on New Year’s Day, which led to the cancellation of hundreds of flights and affected 65,000 passengers.

Last week, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. apologized for the incident and vowed his administration will make sure it will not happen again.