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Construction of Mactan Airport emergency runway begins

Photo from DOT Regional Director Shalimar Tamano's Facebook

A groundbreaking ceremony was held on January 14, 2020 to mark the start of the construction of an emergency runway or parallel taxiway at the Mactan Cebu International Airport.

Steve Y. Dicdican, general manager of the Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA), said this new facility will ensure no disruption in flight operations in the event of aircraft accidents or maintenance work on the existing runway.

“This is our first authentic attempt at future-proofing our airport…This is the first one where we are anticipating the trends of the future, we are anticipating our potential weaknesses. That’s why we are building this second runway,” Dicdican said during the groundbreaking ceremony.

Civil works will be undertaken by homegrown contractor Duros Development Corporation and its partner China Construction First Group Corporation. They submitted the lower bid of P2.078 billion for the project, which had an approved budget cost of P2.99 billion.

The project, which is different from the second runway proposed by airport passenger terminal operator GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation, is targeted to be completed in 2022.

Related story: Mactan airport parallel taxiway to be completed in 2022

Among the guests who attended the groundbreaking ceremony were Department of Tourism regional director Shalimar H. Tamano, Cebu City 1st District Representative Raul V. del Mar and Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan.

Mactan Airport is currently the second biggest and busiest in the country, with growing passenger and air traffic volumes.

As of the third quarter of 2019, international passengers grew 10% while domestic arrivals increased 9% to deliver a combined 10% growth year-on-year to 9.48 million passengers.

Air traffic volume likewise cruised to a 6% improvement, with international and domestic traffic up 9% and 5%, respectively.

Average hourly traffic at the airport is projected to increase to 43 air traffic movements (ATMs) by 2032, Dicdican said.

The airport currently has the capacity to host 12.5 million passengers.

Construction of an emergency runway is seen to further boost Cebu's economy, especially its tourism sector. (Ventures Cebu)

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