Fate of Bantayan, Camotes airports hanging

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THE Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) is still waiting for the Capitol to decide whether to continue developing or operating airports in Bantayan and Camotes Islands.

Airport general manager Nigel Paul Villarete yesterday said the MCIAA board of directors met yesterday in Manila about the two airports “as their only agenda.” But no decision was reached yet on the fate of the island airports .

Villarete said they would either do a feasibility study which would take eight months or an “initial desirability study which is faster and easier” to complete.

He said the board is still requesting the Cebu provincial government to provide a policy guidance.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) withdrew its interest in the projects.

“We cannot impose on the province’s decision so we will wait for their word,” said Villarete.

Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III was not able to attend the MCIAA meeting because of the on-going peer-to-peer orientation of new governors organized by the League of Provinces in the Philippines (LPP).

The two airports were included in the annual investment plan of Cebu province under the Garcia administration.

In 2012, the Capitol allotted P25 million for each airport. The facility was supposed to be completed in the first half of this year.

Earlier, Davide said the contractors have already asked payment from the Capitol, but this has been put on hold pending inspection of the project.

The airport projects in Bantayan and Camotes were seen to boost the province’s tourism by providing easier access to Cebu’s two most popular beach destinations.

Under the law, the MCIAA is mandated to oversee the operation of all airports in Cebu.

The airstrips were first opened during the term of Gov. Emilio Osmeña.

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