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New ecozone for MEZ firms will be in Magellan Bay

Screenshot from MCIAA video of press conference by MCIAA general manager Steve Y. Dicdican

A total of 300 hectares of foreshore land on Mactan Island will be reclaimed to, among others, serve as relocation site for the locators of the Mactan Economic Zone (MEZ) who will be displaced by the airport’s expansion.

Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) general manager Steve Y. Dicdican said the plan is to reclaim 190 hectares off Barangay Buaya in Magellan Bay and another 110 hectares in Barangay Ibo, for a total of 300 hectares.

The displaced MEZ locators will be relocated to the proposed 190-hectare reclamation area, which will be developed into a “smart city”.

Dicdican had said that the entire process would take 7 to 10 years, giving the affected firms enough time to devise a system that will not disrupt or hamper operations.

Read related story: MEZ relocation ‘best strategy’ for 2nd runway project

The reclamation project is part of the P208-billion unsolicited proposal of airport operator GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC), which was submitted back on June 7, 2017.

GMCAC is hoping to undertake the 50-year integrated development plan for the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA), which will bring the facility’s capacity to 50 million passengers a year from the current 12.5 million.

In its proposal, GMCAC said the airport would have to be expanded to accommodate new facilities, such as a second runway and a third terminal building.

At the time that it submitted its proposal, the Filipino-Indian company said it was looking at options that will minimize the impact on surrounding communities.

A reclamation project in the Magellan Bay would achieve this purpose, the company said.

GMCAC, which won the 25-year public-private partnership (PPP) concession to operate the airport in December 2013, is currently renovating Terminal 1, which now solely serves domestic flights. Terminal 2 opened for operations on July 1, 2018.

GMCAC’s contract, however, includes only the construction of Terminal 2 and upgrading of Terminal 1. It does not include the improvement, operations, and maintenance of the runway and other related facilities.

The airport’s airside facilities are still under the control of Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA).

Under its 50-year proposed masterplan for the airport, GMCAC intends to take over the airside facilities in three phases:

1. Rehabilitate MCIA’s existing runway and taxiways; construct an additional full length parallel taxiway that can act as an emergency runway; and develop additional rapid exit taxiways and runway holding positions;

2. Construct a second parallel and independent runway which will significantly increase airside capacity; and,

3. Construct a third terminal to accommodate all the additional passengers.

GMCAC said these new proposed facilities are aimed at preventing airfield congestion at the airport. Their studies showed that passenger traffic would reach 28 million in 2039.

In 2018, passenger traffic at the MCIA reached 11.37 million, an increase of about 18% from 9.59 million in 2017.

In the first half of 2019, passenger traffic went up by 10% to 6.4 million. (Ventures Cebu)

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