Airport for sale-A A +A
Saturday, December 3, 2011
OFFICIALS of the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) are considering SM Prime Holdings’ offer to buy the 300-hectare property where the airport stands.
They may cash in on the real estate boom.
Passengers on planes circling the Mactan Airport will soon see a huge “For Sale” sign.
If the airport sale pushes through, SM’s payment may be used to fund the construction of a “bigger and more modern” international airport in Cordova town.
But Cordova still has to reclaim foreshore lands to accommodate an airport.
We could end up with having no airport at all.
Rep. Tomas Osmeña (Cebu City, south district), who earlier bared his grand plan to annex Cordova to Cebu City, has endorsed SM’s proposal.
He said selling the airport property to SM and constructing a new airport in Cordova is better than rehabilitating and existing airport, which is estimated to cost P5 billion.
If he succeeds in annexing Cordova to Cebu City, he may yet have control of the airport.
SM plans to develop a world-class and modern commercial and mixed-use complex on the MCIA property.
Rep. Osmeña said SM’s proposal will “enhance the attractiveness of Cebu and will make Cebu globally competitive.”
The airport runway, he said, could be converted into a highway to ease traffic congestion in Lapu-Lapu City.
Is that attractive enough for Lapu-Lapu City to give up the airport?
Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama said he was “shocked” upon seeing in the newspaper the proposed sale of the Mactan airport.
He also questioned Rep. Osmeña’s involvement on the issue, saying discussion on selling the airport lot and getting buyers of the property should not come from any official from Cebu City, but from officials in the area concerned.
But he didn’t question Osmeña’s expertise in real estate.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 03, 2011.