Mactan-Cebu airport ‘safest’ in Philippines | Inquirer News
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Mactan-Cebu airport ‘safest’ in Philippines

The Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) was recognized as the safest in the country in terms of security measures for its operations.

MCIA manager engineer Nigel Paul Villarete said the certification was issued by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).

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“I’m very sure that many airlines would be more comfortable using our airport,” Villarete said in an interview.

The MCIA is the second-largest airport next to Manila.

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The awarding of the Aerodrome certificate was done during yesterday morning’s monthly meeting of the MCIA Authority board.

CAAP Director General Ramon S. Gutierrez handed the certification to Villarete.

The CAAP cited the airport’s availability of safety manuals and constant safety drills and emergency response team as factors.

Villarete said any failure to sustain safety management measures would result in revocation of their certificate, so they will work hard to maintain their record.

“Since the MCIA is now the safest in the Philippines, it will attract more people to come to Cebu,” said an airport press statement.

He said the certification would also mark the airport’s readiness to be more competitive globally.

Passenger traffic went up from 3.9 million in 2009 to 5.4 million last year, according to the MCIAA.

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Meanwhile, Capitol consultant Rory Jon Sepulveda said Cordova Mayor Adelino Sitoy’s proposal to transfer the international airport to Cordova town is not the immediate solution to the problem of “overcrowding” in the facility.

In a press conference, Sepulveda said it was possible to build the airport on the proposed 3,500 hectares of reclaimed land in Cordova but land reclamation takes time, while an immediate solution is needed.

“Transferring the airport to Cordova is not the immediate solution, is not tomorrow’s solution, is not today’s solution. It might be a future solution but we need a solution now,” Sepulveda said.

Based on the Korean International Cooperation Agency’s (KOICA) air traffic demand forecast, the volume of domestic passengers will rise from 3,841,990 passengers in 2009 to 6,260,047 in 2015.

International passenger traffic is forecast to go up from 920,000 in 2009 to 1,472,301 by 2015. Sepulveda said this problem discouraged some airlines to come in.

Sitoy’s proposal surprised government stakeholders and representatives of the MCIAA who attended the KOICA’s presentation of the master plan for the airport’s expansion.

Sepulveda said KOICA’s study of the 25-year airport expansion is premised on the current MCIA site in Lapu-Lapu City.

He said Cebu province has many options to establish another airport, including a potential site in Daanbantayan town in north Cebu.

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TAGS: airport security, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA)
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