Aviation officials remind developers: Heed height limits

OFFICIALS urged developers and local authorities to make sure that buildings coming up near the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) do not interfere with radar signals or flight paths.

A team from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) reminded developers and building officials last Friday to strictly follow the height clearance limits and secure the appropriate permits before erecting their structures within a one-kilometer radius of the MCIA.

“We are not preventing developments in surrounding areas at MCIA. We are just preventing the rise of obstacles,” said Francisco Alconera, CAAP’s division chief for Aerodrome Development and Management Office (ADMS), in a forum on height clearances organized by the Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA).

Alconera observed that Mactan is still far from being congested with high-rise buildings that could potentially pose a threat to airport operations, although he pointed out that some structures in Mactan have exceeded the height limit.

CAAP is conducting a study on the effects of these high-rise buildings on airport operations, but declined to disclose details until these have been presented to the CAAP director general and officials of MCIAA.

“Maganda tingnan ang MCIA because on the economic side, nagboboom kaya nga we are here para sana ang pagtaas at pagdami ng commercial structures hindi magiging obstruction sa operations ng airport (It’s good to study Mactan because the area is in the midst of a boom, and we want to help make sure that commercial structures do not obstruct airport operations),” said Alconera.

“Mactan can still grow but at a certain safe height limit,” he said. Alconera hoped that MCIA would not replicate the situation in Metro Manila, where tall structures went up around the airport, in defiance of limits set by aviation authorities.

The CAAP official noted that MCIA is blessed to have approach pathways surrounded by water.

Following its creation by virtue of Republic Act 9447, the CAAP included a height clearance permit as part of requirements before any structure can be built in the vicinity of airports.

Alconera advised developers to coordinate with the Office of the Building Official (OBO) when designing their structures near the airport. He said that they have given OBO the Obstacle Limitation Surfaces in the creation of their Comprehensive Land Use Program and as references in approving building projects.

The height limits depend on how close the structure is to the airport, along with some factors like ground elevation measurements. “Developers need to work closely with OBO,” Alconera said.
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