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Cebu airport passengers rise 3%

MANILA, Philippines - Volume of passengers using the country’s second biggest gateway climbed three percent in the first four months of the year as the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is in the middle of a bidding process involving the P17.5 billion expansion of the Mactan Cebu International Airport.

Data from the Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) showed that a total of 2.4 million domestic and international passengers used the international airport from January to April this year or about 183,000 more than the 2.333 million passengers in the same period last year.

The number of domestic passengers inched up 1.6 percent to 1.83 million in the first four months of the year from 1.79 million in the same period last year while the number of international passengers rose 3.1 percent to 591,390 from 537,531.

The rise in the volume of passengers could be traced to the increase in the number of flights in the Mactan Cebu International Airport to 22,164 flights from January to April this year or 16 percent more than the 19,088 flights in the same period last year.

The volume of passengers at the Mactan Cebu International Airport went up by 8.9 percent to 6.7 million in 2012 from 6.2 million in 2011on the back of the steady increase in domestic and foreign travelers.

Statistics showed that the number of flights in the international gateway increased by 9.4 percent to 58,888 last year from 53,809 the previous year.

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Last February, MCIAA general manager and chief executive officer Nigel Paul Villarete asked the Cebu Aeronautics Board (CAB) to impose a moratorium on additional flights to and from the international airport due to passenger congestion until the expansion project is completed.

The Aquino administration through the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is pushing the P17.5 billion Mactan-Cebu International Airport project under the public private partnership (PPP) scheme.

The expansion project through the public private partnership (PPP) scheme 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 existing terminal building at the Mactan-Cebu international airport situated in a 797-hectare property has a capacity of handling 4.5 million passengers annually on two wings, the domestic wing and the international wing.

The DOTC has prequalified seven bidders including AAA Airport Partners led by conglomerate Ayala Corp. and Cebu-based Aboitiz Equity Ventures together with Houston airport operator ADC&HAS; Filinvest-CAI Consortium of taipan Andrew Gotianun together with Singapore’s Changi Airport; Lopez-led First Philippine Airports together with New Zealand’s Infratil Asia Limited.

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