Bantayan Airport runway to be expanded to accommodate bigger aircraft
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Bantayan Airport’s runway will be extended to accommodate commercial flights from the country’s flag carriers, the Cebu Provincial Government announced.
Local officials are planning to increase the runway’s current length from 1.2 kilometers to 1.5 kilometers so more and larger commercial aircraft can be accommodated, a report from Sugbo News stated.
Julius Neri, the general manager of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA), proposed the Bantayan airport’s expansion to Governor Gwen Garcia in a meeting last Tuesday, July 11.
Neri was accompanied by Andrew Harisson, GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation’s (GMCAC) chief executive advisor, during the meeting at the Governor’s office.
Neri explained that although the airport’s current runway can already holds smaller planes, it still falls short in the length requirements for larger aircraft operated by the country’s largest commercial passenger airlines.
Garcia, for her part, welcomed MCIAA’s proposal and expressed willingness to help the expansion project by acquiring the properties around the airport’s land area, which was owned by the Capitol.
Last March 9, the Bantayan airport’s expanded runway was inaugurated, and currently, it is only catering chartered flights. Regular commercial flights to Bantayan have not been launched yet.
While the airport has been operational since its launch in April this year, Neri highlighted the need for an extension on the runway’s length to offer regular flights to Bantayan.
Neri also mentioned a plan to build firefighting facilities, including a fire station and fire trucks inside the Bantayan airport to ensure safety, as the airport is seen to become highly commercialized in the future.
The Capitol, MCIAA, and GMR are scheduled to sign a tripartite agreement next month after the management of the airport is established. While the Capitol owns the land, MCIAA manages the airport, and GMCAC will hold the terminal operations.
Bantayan is famous for its white sand beaches and is a popular beach destination for locals and foreign tourists. /rcg
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