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Philippine-Indian team pitches $3bn expansion of Manila airport

Megawide and GMR propose to double hub's passenger capacity

Ninoy Aquino International Airport is the gateway to Manila.   © Reuters

MANILA -- Philippine engineering group Megawide Construction and an Indian partner would spend $3 billion to more than double capacity at a Metro Manila international airport under a proposal presented to the government Thursday, intensifying the competition in the capital area's infrastructure.

The plan, submitted with Mumbai-based GMR Infrastructure, calls for upgrading terminals at Ninoy Aquino International Airport as well as extending runways and creating new taxiways.

This would enable a roughly 30% increase in air traffic to between 950 and 1,000 takeoffs and landings a day. Capacity would rise to 72 million passengers a year from 31 million. The duo would operate the airport for 18 years before transferring it to the government free of charge.

Philippine Stock Exchange-listed Megawide and GMR are countering a $6.75 billion plan to upgrade the airport into a regional hub by a consortium of seven conglomerates, including the real-estate-centered Ayala group. Separately, infrastructure builder San Miguel has proposed to construct a new airport in Bulacan Province, north of Manila.

Megawide and India-listed GMR are already working together to expand Mactan Cebu International Airport in the central Philippines. GMR has developed airports, including one in New Delhi, as well as power plants and highways.

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