Wednesday, 12 September 2007

NAIA 3 repair, opening now on track

Original article at The Manila Times

The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) is on track in meeting its target opening of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 following successful negotiations with Japanese contractor Takenaka Corp.

MIAA and Takenaka may be able to sign the construction work agreement in the next two months, owing to Takenaka’s full cooperation with the remaining work that need be done at NAIA 3.

Based on its projection, the MIAA said the soft opening of NAIA 3 will be in the first quarter of 2008 and the full opening will be in the first half of next year.

Robert Uy, MIAA head executive assistant, noted that Takenaka representatives were positive and responsive in the current negotiations unlike previously reported where they refused to accept responsibility of the structural defects that were discovered by MIAA’s consultants.

Takenaka’s participation in the NAIA 3 is crucial as it holds the codes of the different systems of the terminal.

Four groups have been formed to thresh out details of the NAIA 3 issue: structural integrity, testing and commissioning, construction work agreement, and oversight committee.

The government is planning to repair all the defects by December in preparation for the soft opening.

The opening of NAIA 3 has been postponed several times due to legal and structural issues.

The government took over the facility in December 2004 through an expropriation case filed by the government against the Philippine International Air Terminals Co. Inc. (Piatco). The case is still pending with Branch 117 of the Pasay Regional Trial Court.

The NAIA 3 Commission has yet to start its assessment of the real value of the NAIA 3 property owing to an objection of the MIAA to the appointment of DG Jones as appraiser.

DG Jones will help the commission in determining the just compensation that will be paid by the government to Piatco.

The firm earlier submitted a fee of $1.9 million for the assessment but agreed to lower it by at least 20 percent. No final amount has been announced.

The World Bank’s International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes dismissed last August 16 the case filed by Fraport in October 2003 against the Philippines to claim its investment of $425 million in Piatco.

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