Aboitiz Group’s infrastructure business unit Aboitiz InfraCapital has submitted a PHP148bn ($2.84bn) unsolicited proposal to rehabilitate, expand, modernise and operate four regional airports in the Philippines.

Under the proposal, the company has sought a concession period of 35 years to operate the Iloilo International Airport, Bacolod-Silay Airport, Laguindingan Airport, and New Bohol International Airport in Panglao.

Aboitiz stated that the multi-phased project will help transform the four regional airports into world-class facilities while decongesting Metro Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

The Iloilo, Bacolod and Laguindingan airports are already operating above capacity and require immediate rehabilitation, while New Bohol is expected to further open the island to the international tourism market.

“The combined potential of the four regional gateways results in overall gains for both the government and the local economy.”

Aboitiz InfraCapital CEO and president Sabin Aboitiz said: “Through this unsolicited proposal, we intend to support the government’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ programme as we develop sustainable airport facilities that reflect and support the tremendous economic and tourism potential of the Philippines’ regions and provinces.”

Aboitiz’s latest move comes after the government recognised the regional airports’ modernisation as a critical infrastructure project and in 2014 launched a tender for a public-private partnership for five airports, which was cancelled last year.

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The company noted that it is essential to combine all of the available resources to develop, operate and maintain all four airports so that all of the involved stakeholders, including the government, can get the benefit.

Aboitiz added: “Not only will none of the airports require any form of subsidy, the combined potential of the four regional gateways results in overall gains for both the government and the local economy.”

If the government awards the contract this year, the company will start upgrading the four airports in 2019. The upgrades and expansions are scheduled to be completed in 2021.