THE Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) is considered a benchmark of a successful public-private partnership (PPP) which they hope to replicate in other five regional airports in the country, the secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) yesterday said.
The government is bidding out the development, operations and maintenance of five regional airports in two bundles. Bundle 1 consists of Bacolod-Silay Airport and Iloilo Airport, while the second bundle includes the New Bohol (Panglao) Aiport-Languindingan Airport (Cagayan de Oro) and Davao Airport. These deals’ total worth is roughly P106 billion.
DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said he was pleased with the success of the airport project since its turnover to private operator GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC) last Nov. 2014 as the changes and improvements brought by the airport showcase a good partnership between the government and private entities.
“The ongoing tender of five regional airports just looks as promising as this (MCIA) under the PPP scheme,” he said. “What we essentially achieved in Cebu must also be achieved in other airports.”
Abaya said that every time he gets the chance to explain what PPP is all about to investors, lawmakers and the business community, he relates the improved travel experience at the MCIA.
The secretary thinks the concept of PPP is better explained by the transformation of the MCIA rather than its technical aspects.
Abaya was in Cebu to lead the ceremonial concrete pouring of the Terminal 2 whose completion is slated on end of 2017 or early 2018. Construction of the new terminal, though, started last December.
“This is an important event because the obligation of the government has finally ended as we now turnover fully what is required for the full development of MCIA,” said Abaya. “We now shift into full-time regulator to make sure that this project will be completed (as scheduled).”
The MCIA is the first airport PPP project to take off under the Aquino administration.
Last December, Thomson Reuters’ Project Finance International (PFI) hailed the MCIA PPP project as the “2015 Best Transport Deal in Asia Pacific.”
PFI is a leading source of global project finance intelligence.
The awarding ceremony will be held next month in London. The consortium of Filipino-owned Megawide Construction Corp. and Bangalore-based GMR Airports won the bid last 2014 for the rehabilitation and expansion of MCIA.
MCIA was also voted 18th out of 30 best airports in Asia last year in a survey conducted by The Guide to Sleeping Airports.
Abaya expects the ranking to improve following the on-going improvements being done at the airport.
GMCAC said it is investing nearly P32 billion for the new terminal’s first phase of development.
The cost of the construction is pegged at P17.5 billion while another P14.4 billion was earlier paid to the national government as premium.
The new three-level airport terminal will have a total floor area of 65,865 square meters.
Once completed, the terminal will triple the current capacity of the airport to 12.5 million passengers annually from its current capacity of 4.5 million.