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NEWS Last modified on October 21, 2014

Regional airports in the Philippines to be expanded

The National Economic Development Board (NEDB) in the Philippines has given the green light to a €355 million transformation project at Bacolod-Silay International Airport.

Work is set to be carried out in three phases and includes extension of the runway along with terminal expansion, and once complete means the airport can handle three million passengers by 2025.

The development will be in a 30-35 year concession period and funded through a public-private partnership.

It was approved by the NEDB along with 11 other new countrywide infrastructure projects in a meeting, which was chaired by Philippines president Benigno Aquino III.

NEDA explains the project will “provide additional facilities and other necessary improvements to enhance safety, security, access, passenger and cargo movement efficiency, and operational efficiency at the airport, excluding air navigation control, air navigation services and their associated services."

Other airports in the Philippines are to also receive funds for operations, maintenance and development projects.

They include Davao Airport, where a €711 million operations and maintenance development has been earmarked, to be completed in three phases, and the concession will be for 30-35 years, as part of a public-private partnership.

Iloilo Airport will also be transformed in three phases as part of €532 million development, through a public-private partnership, and NEDA says the operations and maintenance project will be on a concession period of 30-35 years, and construction will start in January 2016.

davaoDavao Airport

Puerto Princesa Airport will also be expanded in a €91 million public-private partnership project and will have a concession period of 30-35 years.

NEDA explains: “The project will cover operations and maintenance duties, commercial development of the facility, and future investment in necessary asset to expand capacity and to absorb traffic increase on the horizon of the concession period and beyond.”

All the projects will be done under an 'operate-add-transfer' scheme with the private sector and are expected to start sometime late next year, or early in 2016 with concessions bidding set for later this year.

NEDA economic planning secretary, Arsenio M Balisacan, says: "These approved projects will significantly contribute to the infrastructure investment needed to sustain growth and make it inclusive.

“The projects will allow Filipinos to have more access to social and economic opportunities.

"The transportation and port projects will improve the mobility of people and the efficiency of the flow of goods and services. Also, some of these projects will instill or enhance resiliency of many areas against climate-related risks and disasters."

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