MANILA, Philippines – The operator of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) has submitted a P200-billion unsolicited proposal for the construction of a second runway and expansion of the airport.

In a statement, the consortium of GMR Infrastructure Ltd. of India and Megawide Construction Corp. said the proposal, which involves an investment of P208 billion, was submitted to the government on June 7.

Under the proposal, GMR-Megawide, which was awarded the public-private partnership project to develop and operate the MCIA in 2013, intends to take over the airside facilities of the airport currently under the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA), as well as to expand the airport to have a capacity of at least 50 million passengers per annum.

The proposal will be undertaken in three phases, with the first involving the rehabilitation of MCIA’s existing runway and taxiways; construction of an additional parallel taxiway to serve as emergency runway; and the development of additional rapid exit taxiways and runway holding positions, upon takeover of the airside facilities.

The second phase will cover the construction of a second parallel and independent runway, while the third and final phase involves building a third terminal for additional passengers.

“We have always believed in the potential of MCIA as the primary gateway to serve Visayas and Mindanao,” GMR-Megawide director Louie Ferrer said.

“Passenger traffic has shown incredible growth in the last two or three years. While this is good news for the country, especially for Cebu, we want to ensure that the airport can ably cope with this continued progress,” he said.

The rehabilitation of airside facilities as well as the construction of a new runway are expected to lessen congestion that may be experienced with just a single runway facility.

“Our studies show that passenger traffic in Cebu will reach about 28 million passenger per year in 2039. This is traffic similar to major Asian airports such as Singapore, New Delhi and Kuala Lumpur among others. Part of our plan is to ensure MCIA will be able to avoid airfield congestion like the kind experienced by NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport), and continue efficient operations despite this increasing traffic,” Ferrer said.

To minimize the impact on surrounding communities, GMR-Megawide is looking at a possible reclamation in Magellan Bay.

“We took into account the number of residents that may be affected by the airport expansion. We will be adopting an approach that prevents any adverse effect on their daily lives,” Ferrer said.

Once completed, the MCIA will become the first airport in the country with two parallel independent runways.

Ferrer said the consortium’s proposal is in line with the long-term view of the MCIAA for the airport as it recently passed a resolution to push for the implementation of a second runway.

“We submitted a highly detailed proposal tailored specifically to the needs of MCIA and we are looking forward to their response,” Ferrer said.

GMR-Megawide, which assumed operations of MCIA in November 2014, is building the new world-class passenger terminal building or Terminal 2 of the MCIA.

Targeted to open in June next year, the new passenger terminal building will bring MCIA’s capacity to 12.5 million per year from 4.5 million.

Last year, the MCIA handled 8.9 million passengers.

12 June 2017
By Louella Desiderio