MCIAA to construct emergency runway to ensure undisrupted operations
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) will put up an “emergency” runway to ensure undisrupted operations when maintenance work will be done at the present runway.
MCIAA General Manager Steve Dicdican, in a press statement, said the construction of the emergency runway is timely as they project the average hourly traffic at MCIAA to be already at 43 Air Traffic movements (ATMs) by 2032.
“In the past, we have often experienced closures of our single runway due to repair, maintenance, inspections, or aircraft accidents. We want to avoid these kinds of operational disruptions and inconvenience to our passengers in the future, and that is why we are eager to construct this additional runway,” Dicdican said.
“Aircraft emergencies can happen at any time, as we experienced in Cebu and Manila. We also have to factor in the runway maintenance and repairs that need to be conducted. Given the volume of air traffic that MCIA has and its impact on our community and economy, we need to ensure that airport operations will not be disrupted,” he added.
The emergency runway, Dicdican clarified, is not the same with the independent parallel runway proposed by the GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC).
The independent runway proposed by the airport operator, GMCAC, is aimed at increasing the capacity of the airport, which serves both domestic and international flights.
The emergency runway is expected to be completed by 2022 and is expected to compliment the runway project proposed by GMCAC, which is eyed to be completed by 2032.
“We need both projects. We need the proposed independent runway if we are to have a complete solution to the runway congestion that have plagued busy airports. However, we do not want to wait until 2032 or until our single runway’s capacity threshold is reached before we do something to protect and improve our runway operations,” Dicdican said.
The GMCAC proposed additional runway is part their 50-year development masterplan for the airport and is now awaiting approval from the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).
“Our current runway project is not the complete solution, but the interim solution that ensures uninterrupted operations and fractional operational efficiency; at least enough to tide us over until 2032.
Past 2032, we must already have an operational independent runway, which means that the building of this independent runway must commence by next year at the latest,” Dicdican said.
Dicdical added that putting up measures to improve the airport is necessary and should be implemented now to brace for Cebu’s rapid growth.” /bmjo
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