Airport workers slam bid to privatize NAIA

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Ninoy Aquino International Airport

MANILA  – Members of the Samahang Manggagawa ng Paliparan Sa Pilipinas (SMPP) on Wednesday held a peaceful rally in Mendiola, Manila, slamming  the impending privatization of five airports in the country , which they claimed  would also lead  to the privatization of the country’s premier airport.

SMPP president Fering Lopez said the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) might soon be joining the Bacolod-Silay Airport, Iloilo International Airport, Davao International Airport, New Bohol (Panglao) Airport and the Laguindingan Airport because there was  a previous proposal  from the  national government to invite interested parties to bid for NAIA’s operations and maintenance projects.

Although it lauded the move of the Department of Transportation (DOTr)  as a part of the initiative  to  improve the services at key regional airports by tapping the private sector,  the NAIA workers said they are worried about the fate of their fellow employees.

Lopez said NAIA employees are  anxious about their jobs if the government would indeed pursue NAIA’s privatization.

Last December, the Ayala Group has announced that they are interested to bid for the development project of  NAIA if the national government issues an invitation to pre-qualify and bid.

There are two runways at NAIA – the standard runway 06/24 which is 3,737 meters, and the 2,258-meter runway 13/31 that serves smaller aircraft such as Airbus A320, Boeing B737 and below.

The NAIA is currently operating at a maximum capacity of 40 landings and takeoffs movements per hour. The NAIA Terminal 1 has exceeded its ideal capacity of 31 million passengers, with  36.6  million passengers served in 2015.

Lopez added that NAIA has over 1,000 organic employees and 5,200 contracted manpower including those job-order personnel such as the building attendants.

The NAIA terminals earned some P24.4 billion in revenues from 2010 to 2015, which were remitted to the national coffers.

The Manila International Airport Authority has denied that there is a plan to privatize NAIA terminals.

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