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NEWS Last modified on March 21, 2014

Philippines to upgrade airports to boost tourism

The Philippine government plans to upgrade 12 airports including Manila's ageing central international airport, according to reports.

Reuters says it is part of a strategy to attract 10 million foreign tourists by 2016 and help fuel one of Asia's fastest growing economies.

Three of the projects are said to have a combined cost of up to 54.6 billion pesos ($1.22 billion), while costs for others are still being finalised.

Half of the planned projects will be done through the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) scheme, while operations and maintenance of the airports could be put into one tender, which are set to be offered to investors later this year, Reuters says.

Transportation undersecretary Rene Limcaoco, explains the government was looking at building a new terminal for the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila.

The Puerto Princesa Airport on Palawan island, and Clark International Airport in Pampanga, are also on the list of gateways transport leaders wants to modernise and upgrade.

Limcaoco explains revamps would ease logistic costs, improve traffic congestion and support the target of 10 million tourists by 2016, up from the current 4.7 million.

He says rehabilitation of NAIA Terminal 1 will be completed by early 2015, while Terminal 3 will be fully-operational in July this year.

Limcaoco adds the government is keeping the end of March target to award the 17.52 billion peso ($391 million) PPP contract for the Mactan-Cebu International Airport terminal.

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