Tugade wants runway repairs ‘done right away’

By: Jose Santino S. Bunachita July 26,2018 - 10:00 PM

TRANSPORTATION Secretary Arthur Tugade has urged officials of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) to repair portions of the airport’s runway.

During an inspection yesterday morning, potholes were discovered along the runway due to the recent rains in Cebu.

“I want this done right away. Procure the materials. Arrange the patching of potholes first. Schedule it at a time that is least inconvenient to the public,” Tugade said in a statement following his ocular visit.

He also suggested to use a new cold patch asphalt technology for emergency runway repairs in order to avoid lengthy runway closures.

Tugade explained that this technology sets quickly, which means it hardens in just one hour. He added that it is also environment-friendly, permanent, and convenient.

Tugade personally inspected the runway yesterday morning together with officials from the MCIA Authority and the GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC), the private operator of the airport.

Sought for comment, MCIAA General Manager Steve Dicdican said they have already scheduled repairs for both the taxiway and the runway of the airport.

“We have immediate plans. Those plans have been in place for months now. We will start taxiway repairs on August. We will start runway repairs on September,” he told CDN.

As to the Secretary’s suggestion of a cold patch asphalt technology, Dicdican said this kind of methodology was rejected by a past administration of the MCIAA.

But he said that they will revisit the technology together with their asphalt specialist following the recommendation of Tugade.

Multi-million peso asphalt overlay

The MCIAA is set to do a P240 million asphalt overlay project on the airport runway in September. Bidding process is currently ongoing and they expect to award the project in the middle of August.

MCIAA is currently doing coordination meetings with airport stakeholders regarding the project which will see some hours of closure of the runway.

“While international civil aviation standards and ideal work methodology and efficiency point to 8-hour runway closures, we will also factor in the interests of our stakeholders in coming up with the final dates, times and duration of the work,” Dicdican said.

The last rehabilitation of the airport runway was done in 2005 yet.

Initial plans of the MCIAA is to close the runway for at least eight hours, from midnight to 8 a.m. of the next day, for a period of 14 days.

This would mean that no aircraft will be able to land or depart from the MCIA within the eight-hour period.

But while the final duration and hours have not been decided, Dicdican said they are intent on pushing through with the rehabilitation on September since it’s the most ideal month as it is the off-peak period for most airlines.

Doing this would cause the least disruption to their operations.

“I would like to stress that this project was conceptualized because of the various complaints and concerns about the state of the runway which was last overlaid as far back as 2005,” Dicdican said.

He added that the original plan was to wait for the building of the second runway before embarking on the rehabilitation of the existing runway. But he said stakeholders could not wait anymore due to the poor state of the runway.

The opening of the new Terminal 2 of the MCIA also prompted the need for the rehabilitation of the runway as more airlines and flights are expected to and from Cebu.

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TAGS: away, done, repairs, right, runway, Tugade, wants

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