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Alternatives eyed for Mactan airport

By: - Senior Reporter / @agarciayapCDN
/ 08:59 AM August 27, 2013

What happens to the Mactan airport beyond the 20-year period it is run by the private operator who will win the bid to expand present facilities?

Looking ahead, general manager Nigel Paul Villarete of the Mactan Cebu International Airport has asked for a study of “future alternatives” to be done by the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC).

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He wrote Transportation Scretary Joseph Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya requesting the study.

The DOTC is processing bids for the P17.5 billion expansion of the airport which will be awarded within the year. Construction will start next year.

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Villarete, who is part of th Public Private Partnerships (PPPP) bidding team, said now is the best time to explore alternatives beyond 20 years of operations under the winning company.

“It takes five to seven years to build a project. The second Mactan bridge and SRP (South Road Projects) started in 1995 and was finished in 2000. So we really should start planning now,” Villarete said.

In his letter, Villarete said the Board of Directors of the MCIA Authority recognized that the expansion project will take place from 2014 to 2034 for Phase 1 and Phase 2.

Old and new

Phase 1 (2014 to 2024) includes the construction of a new terminal and operations and maintenance of both the old and new terminals.

On year six of the first phase, the concessionaire will determine a more realistic growth scenario for Phase 2 from 2024 to 2034.

“Beyond these periods, however we no longer have any plan in place, hence the request for a study,” said Villarete.

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The concessionaire will turn over terminal facilities back to MCIAA to operate.

“That may be covered by later planning activities in the future but the more crucial question would be what future developments will be required in the airside (airfield, runway, taxiways, aprons) and how the government through DOTC and MCIAA, decide on the future capital investments,” Villarete said in his letter.

Under the Pre-Feasibility Study and Master Plan Study by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), a multiple runway system was proposed with a secondary runway to be built in 2028.

“This plan assumes that the airport will stay at its present location well into the future, up to 2040 and beyond. We take note of a previous proposal from Cordova Mayor Adelino Sitoy and Congressman Tomas Osmeña about a possible transfer. Mayor Sitoy has a pending request to DOTC on that matter which should be resolved,” Villarete said.

Analysis

The study will include an analysis of the long-term urban development of Metro Cebu and it’s physical infrastructure, particularly the location of its seaport and airport gateways and other transportation facilities.

It will also cover an analysis of alternatives – to retain the Mactan airport at its present location or transfer to another site.

“If the recommendation is to retain the location, a masterplan of the MCIA airfield facilities, particularly the the construction of the required new runway, its configuration and land requirements and investment estimates including implementation timeline,” he said.

If a change is decided on, an Alternatives Study of the best new location for MCIA and timeline should be done.

The proposed study would cover alternative airport locations in Cebu which may serve as complementary Aerodromes to serve the province in the future and a post-Concession Agreement framework of the improvement and operations of the MCIA landside after the 20-year Concession Agreement.

Villarete said he is still waiting for the DOTC response but is optimistic the Secretary will act favorably since Cebu is a major gateway.

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TAGS: alternatives, Department of Transportation and Communication (DoTC), enterprise, mactan airport, Mactan Cebu International Airport, Nigel Paul Villarete
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