Capitol to fix 2 airports: CAAP stops operation of Bantayan airstrip
(The Freeman) - November 19, 2017 - 4:00pm

CEBU, Philippines — The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines had stopped the operation of the airstrip in Bantayan Island due to the airport’s dilapidated state.

CAAP is a regulatory body that sets the standards for airports in the country. It stopped the operation of the Bantayan airstrip last November 15.

It was the officials of the Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) who channeled the update to Governor Hilario Davide III during a meeting last week.

Present in the meeting were General Aviation Head Jose Dorren Sanoria, Romualda Tamidles, Gabby Acosta of MCIAA’s business division, and William Sabado of MCIAA’s international operation.

CAAP, MCIAA, and Capitol used to operate the airports in Bantayan and Camotes Islands jointly until their Memorandum of Agreement expired in 2013.

The operation of the Camotes airport was stopped fully but CAAP continued operating the airport in Bantayan until recently when it informed MCIAA that it would no longer do so.

In January 2014, Sargaso Construction and Development Corporation, the contractor set to rehabilitate and upgrade the Bantayan and Camotes airports, asked for P146.939 million as payment for the project - P70.9 million for the Camotes airport and P76 million for the Bantayan airport.

However, Davide refused to pay the contractor because the previous Provincial Board reportedly did not authorize the project. At that point, Davide has just assumed the governorship from former governor Gwendolyn Garcia.

This time, however, he agreed to “develop and fix the runway of these two airports.”

“With this present development, Capitol will undertake fresh initiatives to upgrade and finish the rehabilitation of these two airports considering that the islands are two of Cebu’s major tourist destinations,” wrote in the Capitol’s statement.

Davide also agreed to operate the two airports jointly with MCIAA although a formal memorandum is yet to be drafted.

Davide will also speak with officials of MCIAA and CAAP by month’s end.

The two airstrips were opened in the 1990’s during the term of former governor Emilio Osmeña. —/JMO (FREEMAN)

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