TORONTO, Canada – Diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) is expanding its presence in the airport industry after its multimillion dollar investments in national flag carrier Philippine Airlines as it intends to join the fray for the construction of the P10-billion Mactan-Cebu International Airport.
In an interview with reporters during the send-off ceremony of the maiden Manila-Toronto flight, SMC president Ramon S. Ang said the company would be joining the bidding for the airport project to be undertaken by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC).
“Yes, we will join the bidding,” Ang said in an ambush interview.
SMC through TransAire Development Holdings Corp. operates and manages the Caticlan Airport which is the gateway to the world renowned Boracay Island.
The conglomerate is expected to compete with main rival Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) as well as the tandem of Ayala Corp. and Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc. (AEV) for the airport project that was already approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).
Ayala and AEV signed a memorandum of agreement on Friday to create a 50-50 joint venture that would serve as their vehicle to build a new terminal for the country’s second-largest international gateway under the public-private partnership (PPP) framework.
Based on a PPP Center briefing paper, the Mactan-Cebu airport project involves the construction of a world-class passenger terminal building with a capacity of eight million passengers a year as well as the operation and maintenance of the old and new facilities.
The Mactan-Cebu international airport is situated in a 797-hectare property and has a single 3,300 meter runway that is complemented by a full-length taxiway.
The terminal building has a capacity of handling 4.5 million passengers annually on two wings, the domestic wing and the international wing. It is a major trade center in the south for both domestic and international traffic.
The passenger traffic for year 2011 was around 6.2 million passengers. The deterioration in the level of convenience and lack of ability to handle more passengers may hinder further development and growth of international airport..
To solve the problem, DOTC is set to bid a contract for the construction of a new world-class passenger terminal building with a capacity of about eight million passengers per year; and the operation of the old and new facilities.
The construction of a new world-class passenger terminal, including all related facilities, is proposed to separately cater to domestic and international operations with an initial investment of P10.3 billion and a future expansion of P12 billion.