The rehabilitation of the passenger terminal building and other facilities of the Sta. Fe Airport on Bantayan Island is almost finished.
The terminal will be completed by the end of 2019 while the runway will be extended in 2020 to 1.2 kilometers from the current 900 meters, which can accommodate only general aviation and propeller aircraft.
The Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA), which took over the facility in 2017, is spending nearly P100 million for the airport’s rehabilitation — P3.8 million for the renovation of the terminal and communication buildings and other facilities, and P94.45 million for the construction of a concrete runway and perimeter fence.
The MCIAA, which operates the airport, and the Province of Cebu, which owns the property on which the airport stands, have also renewed their commitment to upgrade the airport, which can currently serve only charter flights, into a commercial airport.
MCIAA general manager and CEO Steve Y. Dicdican and Cebu Governor Gwendolyn F. Garcia signed on Monday, September 30, 2019, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on the 25-year development of the facility into a commercial airport.
Under the new MOA, which supersedes the MOA signed by MCIAA and the previous administration in November 2018, Dicdican said the Cebu provincial government will finance the development of the commercial airport.
"The gameplan is to develop this into a commercial airport. This means widening the runway and we would probably have to redo the terminal," Dicdican said. A commercial airport would be able to accommodate Philippine Airlines or Cebu Pacific flights and other commercial flights.
He said he was optimistic that both the MCIAA and the Province of Cebu would be able to recoup their investments into the airport, given the increasing arrivals on the island, which is known for its white sand beaches.
"We're hoping that we can recover (our investments). With sustained marketing efforts and with the help of the community and stakeholders, we're hoping that we can recover our investments in the next 10 years," Dicdican said.
He noted that prior to MCIAA takeover, the airport was earning only about P41,000 a year. When the MCIAA took over, revenues went up to P375,000 in 2018.
Dicdican said he hoped the airport would reach P1 million in revenues this year.
"By next year, we are optimistic that we will be able to match our operating cost. The remaining issue is how to recover our investments," he added. (Ventures Cebu)