Gov’t Releases Development Plans For Six Airports

THE DEPARTMENT of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) has released development plans for the country’s six major airports in a bid to further unlock their potentials for tourism.

Worth an initial P26.1 billion, the plans involve six major airports and are also covered in public-private partnerships (PPP). These facilities are the Puerto Princesa International Airport, Iloilo International Airport, Bacolod-Silay International Airport, Davao International Airport, Laguindingan International Airport, and the New Bohol Airport.

These were revealed by Engineer Rafael S. Lavides, Division Chief of the Air Transport Planning Staff Department of the DoTC, during the hearing of the Congressional Oversight Committee on Tourism in the Senate on Tuesday.

An initial P5.8 billion have been earmarked for initial investments in the Puerto Princesa International airport for the construction of new facilities, which include the development of its 2,600m x 45m runway and the expansion of the passenger terminal building, both of which are slated for completion in 2017.

The phase 1 of the development of the Iloilo International Airport, considered as the 5th busiest airport, will have an investment of P4 billion. The project development includes the expansion of the 13,700 sq. m. passenger terminal building to as much as five times of its original size.

Image Source: Simon Peter Tan

The Bacolod-Silay International Airport is also set to receive P3.6 billion for the phase 1 of the development and expansion of its runway and passenger terminal building; the Davao International Airport, P5.8 billion; Laguindingan International airport, P2.2 billion; and the New Bohol (Panglao) Airport, P4.5 billion.

Davao International Airport

The agency is eyeing to submit these plans to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Investment Coordination Committee on the second quarter of this year, Mr. Lavides said.

For the Clark International Airport, Mr. Lavides said that the construction of a new terminal is under study and plans will be submitted to the NEDA ICC by the first quarter of this year.

Laguindingan Airport

Other key secondary airports, which include the Tuguegarao Airport, Roxas Airport, Iloilo International Airport, Bacolod International Airport, Surigao Airport, Butuan Airport, Ozamis Airport, Zamboanga International Airport, General Santos International Airport, and the Sanga-Sanga airport will also receive a total of P6 billion for their development.

Approximately P20 billion has also been earmarked for expansion and modernization projects for the Laoag International Airport, Naga Airport, Bicol International Airport, Tacloban Airport, Siargao Airport, Caticlan International Airport, Kalibo International Airport, Busuanga Airport and the San Vicente Airport.
Source: Alden M. Monzon,

DOTC, CAB Not Satisfied with Cebu Pacific’s Explanation
A contingency plan should have be in place during peak seasons like Christmas and New Year to ensure passenger welfare, Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya says.

MANILA, Philippines – Not satisfied.

That is the reaction of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) to Cebu Air Inc’s (Cebu Pacific) explanation over its bungled holiday operations that saw a delay of the budget carrier’s 100 flights on Christmas Eve.

In a television interview, Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said that Cebu Pacific should have prepared a contingency plan to accommodate and address the needs of passengers, particularly during the Christmas season.

Abaya also stressed the failure of the overworked staff of Cebu Pacific to perform efficiently during the holiday rush is not an acceptable reason.

An initial investigation showed that 142 flights were delayed on December 24 – 100 belonged to Cebu Pacific, MIAA General Manager Jose Angel Honrado said during the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) hearing on the incident on Monday, December 29.

The check-in counters of Cebu Pacific were undermanned on that date resulting in long queues, Honrado added.

MIAA is also not buying Cebu Pacific’s excuse that the delays and flight cancellations were caused by air traffic congestion and bad weather, Honrado said.

As such, DOTC tasked CAB to look into the possible revisions of the Civil Aeronautics Act, including the Air Passenger Bill of Rights to protect the riding public.

Also, a panel was formed to look into the liability of Cebu Pacific amid the rising number of complaints from passengers following the December 24 delays and cancellations, CAB executive director Carmelo Arcilla said.

The panel, composed of CAB, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), and the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) is set to meet early January 2015 to look into the documents and reports to be submitted by Cebu Pacific.

“All of these 3 agencies oversee the airline operations, so the findings of this joint committee will be submitted to our respective board for evaluation and for regulations,” Abaya added.

On Sunday, December 28, Bayan Muna Representative Neri Colmenares admonished his colleagues in the House of Representatives for failing to swiftly act on an earlier motion to launch a congressional probe into the supposedly excessive fares, delays, and dismal services of the Gokongwei-led budget carrier.

This early, CAB is looking at disallowing overbooking during peak seasons such as the Christmas holidays to avoid “bumping off” of passengers.

Airlines are currently allowed to overbook 10% of total seats to serve as buffer in case passengers fail to show on time.

The budget carrier earlier said that it will cooperate with any investigation to be undertaken by the government.

“We will fully cooperate with the CAB to address their inquiries,” Cebu Pacific Vice President for Corporate Affairs Jorenz Tanada said in a text message.


DOTC Rolls Out P116.2-B Bundled Contract For 6 Airports

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) started yesterday the search for a concessionaire to develop at the same time operate and maintain six provincial airports in a contract worth P116.2 billion.

In an invitation to prequalify and bid, the DOTC through the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) invited prospective bidders to finance, design, construct, operate, and maintain the Bacolod-Silay, Davao, Iloilo, Laguin-dingan, New Bohol (Panglao), and Puerto Princesa airports.

The biggest project is the P40.57-billion contract to improve the services and enhance the airside and landside facilities at the Davao international airport followed by the P30.4-billion contract for the Iloilo international airport.

Other projects are the Bacolod – Silay international airport worth P20.26 billion, the Laguindingan airport, P14.62 billion; Puerto Princesa airport, P5.81 billion; and New Bohol (Panglao) airport, P4.57 billion.

The DOTC said the 30-year concession contract would be awarded through a competitive bidding following the rules and procedures prescribed under the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Law.

The DOTC is set to apply the two-stage/two-envelope system for soliciting bids under the BOT Law.

The private sector concessionaire for the Bacolod-Silay, Davao, Iloilo, and Laguindingan airports would take over the operations and maintenance; undertake immediate expansion of the passenger terminal buildings, apron, other airside and landside facilities; and any capacity augmentation to cater to future demand throughout the contractual term.

Likewise, the private proponent would also take over the operations and maintenance of the New Bohol (Panglao) and Puerto Princesa airports.

The DOTC pointed out that the traffic at the six provincial airports has either exceeded or is nearing their design capacity levels making the fast and proactive development crucial.

Traffic at the Davao international airport has been growing at an annual rate of 10.56 percent over the past five years and handled 2.79 million passengers last year making it the third busiest airport in the Philippines after the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) as well as the Mactan – Cebu international airport.

Volume of passenger at the Iloilo international airport has been growing at an average rate of 11 percent over the past five years to hit 1.82 million last year making it the fifth busiest airport in the country.

The Laguindingan airport is the sixth busiest airport in the country as volume increased averaged 15.1 percent to hit 1.78 million last year followed by the Puerto Princesa with an average increase of 22.8 percent to hit 1.33 million, and the Bacolod-Silay international airport with an average growth of 9.6 percent to reach 1.32 million last year.

The DOTC has tapped a loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to put up the New Bohol airport in Panglao Island that would replace the Tagbilaran airport once completed in the middle of 2017.

Source: Lawrence Agcaoili, The Philippine Star

Rehab for General Santos Airport Sought

GENERAL SANTOS CITY – The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) has sought a P2.2-billion budget for the rehabilitation and expansion of the Makar Wharf, and construction of a new airport terminal building here.

This was announced by Raymond Salangsang, vice president of the General Santos City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in a press conference days ahead of the 23rd Annual Mindanao Business Conference.

The conference opens on Monday, September 1.

The Makar Wharf rehabilitation and expansion will cost P1.3 billion, Salangsang said, while DOTC also submitted a P900-million budget for the proposed new airport terminal building in General Santos.

The move is seen as immediate response of the Philippine government to the planned integration of the Philippines into the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015.

Salangsang said General Santos is an excellent transshipment point of exports from China to the rest of the ASEAN region.

New airport terminal

In the same forum, Salangsang said construction of the new airport terminal building could begin late next year or early 2016.

He said the new terminal building, which would have at least 4 air bridges, could open in 2019.

The General Santos City airport began commercial operations in 1996.

When it opened, the airport was the biggest airport facility in Mindanao, sitting on a 600-hectare property.

It was built largely on grants from the United States through the United States Agency for International Development.

Since then, however, its terminal building has undergone little changes with some portions already needing major repairs.

Mayor Rivera said the city would have to improve its infrastructure if it were to become Mindanao’s agro-industrial center.

During the height of international fresh tuna trading, Philippine Airlines was flying out 10 tons of chilled tuna from the city.

When it opened, there was only one daily flight servicing General Santos-Manila route.

Today, as many as 8 daily flights are mounted to Manila, Cebu and Iloilo.

In addition to PAL, Cebu Pacific is now servicing General Santos.

A third airline, Air Asia, will also soon begin flying the Manila-General Santos route.



NAIA-1 Rehabilitation by 2015

NAIA Terminal 1 under renovation.
NAIA Terminal 1 under renovation.

THE COMPLETION of the P1.64-billion rehabilitation of the Ninoy Aquino International Terminal 1 (NAIA-1) and the transfer of airline operations to NAIA Terminal 3 are expected to happen in the first quarter of 2015, a top official said.


“Rehab for NAIA Terminal 1 will be finished by first quarter of 2015; this is to prepare for the APEC [Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation] Summit next year,” Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Jose Angel Honrado told BusinessWorld on the sidelines of a press conference in Mandaluyong City last Thursday.

Mr. Honrado said NAIA-1 needs rehabilitation as it is more than 30 years old. He said the project involves six phases and is overseen by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) and directly supervised by MIAA.

“Phase 1 is already done, the other five phases are under way,” he said, explaining further that the project involves structural retrofitting, improvement of mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection facilities, and renovation of the decades-old terminal building.

The DoTC in December 2013 awarded to D.M. Consunji, Inc. the rehabilitation project.

NAIA-1 has an annual passenger load of 8 million, almost double its original capacity of 4.5 million passengers. The government aims to revert the current passenger load to that figure.

As part of the government’s efforts to decongest NAIA-1, some foreign airline operations at the terminal — including Delta Airlines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Cathay Pacific — were transferred to NAIA-3.

Mr. Honrado said more airlines will be moved to NAIA-3 next year, as the August-December period is for ensuring that the system is working.

“The terminal 3 can accept more, it’s just that we… have to find out and tweak the system,” he said.

“That’s why we started with five international airlines, then Zest Air will add two, also Cebu Pacific with two, then first quarter next year, we’ll be adding more international and domestic airlines.”

Mr. Honrado also said the MIAA is expecting two international airlines to fly out of NAIA-1. “Oman Air and Garuda Indonesia will first fly in at NAIA-1 as many airlines are transferring from terminal 1 to 3, but they are also set to move to NAIA-3,” he said.

Last week, the MIAA announced ongoing repairs of air-conditioning chillers at NAIA Terminal 2, targeted to be completed next month. —

Source: Chrisee Jalyssa V. Dela Paz,


Image Source: David Montasco
Image Source: David Montasco

MANILA – An abandoned hotel at the Nayong Pilipino will be torn down to give way to the expansion of the Ninoy Aquino International Hotel Terminal 2 (NAIA2).

Transport Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya today told reporters that the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) has asked the Commission on Audit (COA) to come up with a valuation of the Philippine Village Hotel.

“Whatever value or half of it or a fraction of it would be paid to GSIS, then we demolish the building to expand the Terminal 2,” Abaya said. State-run Government Service Insurance System is part owner of the hotel.

At present, NAIA2 caters to flights of Philippine Airlines (PAL).

Abaya said the government plans to interconnect NAIA’s terminals 1 and 2 for the convenience of the passengers. A key hurdle however is the fuel depot between the two terminals.

“We need to relocate the depot in another equally safe and efficient [place] to be able to connect NAIA 1 and 2,” Abaya said.

The government also plans to build a fifth terminal beside NAIA Terminal 3 to serve the anticipated increase in international passengers.

Delta Airlines, one of 5 foreign airlines transferring out of NAIA1, started flying out of NAIA3 today.

A second carrier, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, will move within the first week of August. Singapore Airlines, Emirates, and Cathay Pacific will follow suit by the end of next month.

The transfer of these airlines is meant to decongest NAIA1, which is undergoing structural retrofitting and rehabilitation.

The transfer of the 5 airlines will reduce Terminal 1’s annual passenger throughput from 8 million down to its design capacity of 4.5 million. This will free up more space at Terminal 1 and reduce the number of travelers.

Other airlines operating at NAIA3 are Cebu Pacific, PAL Express and All Nippon Airways.

Source: Darwin G. Amojelar,

Bomb Threats: Smart Phones To Be screened Separately At Airports

MANILA, Philippines—The Office for Transport Security on Thursday issued a new directive for all airport screeners to require passengers to remove all electronic gadgets including smart phones from their luggage and screen them separately.

The directive from the OTS, an attached agency of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), came on the heels of the reports reaching their counterparts in the US that smart phones used by terrorists as explosive devices could pass through airport security undetected.

“Screeners in all our airports were directed to screen all electronic gadgets i.e smart phones, laptops, iPads, cameras with their batteries separately by placing these items on a tray and out of the luggage for X-ray screening,” the OTS said in a statement issued late Thursday afternoon.

The OTS said previously, only laptops were taken out of the passengers’ luggage to subject them to a separate X-ray screening.

“Inspection of electronic gadgets is not a new policy but a precautionary measure we are adopting due to persistent intelligence information on terrorist attempts to blow up aircraft through gadgets of passengers specifically in flights entering the US,” the OTS said.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) of the US’ Department of Homeland Security recently issued an advisory directing overseas airports with US-bound flights to require passengers to turn on their smart phones before boarding following intelligence information that terrorists have figured out how to turn phones into explosive devices without being detected by airport security scanners.

Jonathan Maliwat, spokesperson for OTS said in a phone interview that in practice, airport officers would ask passengers at random ask to remove the batteries from their phones to make sure that these were not explosive devices.

“The procedure is not new. The airport security personnel have been checking the gadgets of the passengers through profiling (techniques),” Maliwat said.

At present, only the flag-carrier Philippine Airlines offer direct flights to destinations in the US. Other foreign carriers like Delta and the United Airlines have connecting flights in Japan and Guam.

Source: PDI, Niña Calleja

OPINION: NAIA Complex – So Much Space, Too Small Brains!

NAIA Terminal 3
NAIA Terminal 3

For quite sometime now the perennial debate on the NAIA congestion solicited solutions and proposal from all corners of the globe and yet we see airlines queing both on runways 06-24 and 13-31 like our airport is extremely busy, an insult to the likes of Heathrow, O’hare and HKIA among others.

The supposedly impressive President’s men are on top of the situation, educated abroad, social and civic seasoned leaders and it seemed their most common of common sense pulverized to kingdom come.

Issues such as perpendicular runways are a hindrance to maximum airport activity (take off and landings) is a complete blatant lie. Almost all, if not all, the busiest airports in the world have perpendicular runways and it was never pegged as a regressive factor to maximize airport utilization.

Runway 13-31 from NAIA 2 and the adjacent property of the former Nayong Pilipino can accommodate a parallel taxi way covering the whole stretch of NAIA 3 across. Both ends of 13-31 can still be extended to serve bigger aircraft types, sans politics, the structures of the general aviation alongside NAIA 4 must have not been allowed to expand and erect massive hangar structure instead should have been made a runway threshold.  

This can significantly resolve the congestion for aircraft lining up to take off at 13-31 and aircraft lining up to park at bay on either NAIA 3 or NAIA 4 (the terminal long overdue for demolition). Next is the vast land space of the Nayong Pilipino complex, it can either be an option for NAIA 2 to expand or a new low cost terminal.

The cargo wing of NAIA 1 can outrightly be converted into a terminal equipped with jetways/air bridges and a monorail to connect passengers from NAIA 1 to the cargo terminal. There is a way if only there were brains really working to resolve it.  A significant amount of budget maybe cut if the government would seriously take these steps into consderation and the best thing about reconsidering the NAIA complex as it can be implemented the soonest possible time with minimal cost.

Panglao-Bohol Airport: 5 Groups Bid for the Airport Project

MANILA, Philippines – Five groups are vying for the P4.8-billion (US$109 milion) Bohol Airport construction and sustainable environment protection project, based on documents from the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC).

According to General Bid Bulletin No 13 – 2014, issued by DOTC undersecretary Jose Perpetuo Lotilla, the prospective bidders – who already submitted their technical proposals – are the following:

the tandem of Maeda and Toyo Corporation

the joint venture of Taisei Corporation and JATCO

Shimizu Corporation

the partnership of Sumitomo Corporation and Mitsui Construction Company Ltd.

the joint venture of Chiyoda and Mitsubishi Corporation

The DOTC said the project involves building a new airport in the municipality of Panglao in Bohol. This airport will replace the existing Tagbilaran airport. The DOTC said the project would have 6 components and would be funded through a concessional loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

The first component covers the general requirements. These include insurance, employer’s and engineer’s facilities, environment management, and project and maintenance equipment. The second component involves building of access roads and airport infrastructure, including the runway strip, runway taxiways, and others.

The third component covers utility works, including the water supply, power supply, and sewage treatment. The fourth component covers the passenger terminal building, control tower, fire station, driver’s lounge, car parks, toilet, guard houses, and others.

The project’s fifth component is the air navigation facilities while the sixth component is the aeronautical ground lighting works.

The bidding for this project is limited to Japanese nationals in the case of the prime contractor, allowing for other nationalities in case of the sub-contractors. Should the prime contractor be a joint venture, the DOTC noted that the prime contractor should be Japanese and that they should contribute more than 50% of the total contract amount.

The DOTC added the bidding would be conducted through a single-stage two-envelope procedure with no prequalification, in accordance with the applicable guidelines for procurement under Japanese official development assistance loans.

To qualify, a bidder should submit its audited balance sheets or financial statements showing that its net worth calculated as the difference between total assets and liabilities should have been positive for the last 5 years.

Bidders should also have a minimum average annual construction turnover of 8 billion yen (US$78 million) and its joint venture partners should have been a subcontractor or management contractor for at least 10 years. –

DOTC Taps Independent Consultant for P17-B Mactan Airport Expansion

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is spending P122.6 million ($2.8 million) to tap an independent consultant for the P17.5 billion ($399.47 million) Mactan-Cebu international airport expansion project.

An independent consultant is essential in all government infrastructure projects, DOTC spokesperson Michael Arthur Sagcal said.

“It will act as government’s engineer and representative in monitoring the project’s progress and ensuring compliance by the concessionaire with its obligations,” Sagcal said in a text message, Friday, June 20.

In a Request for Expression of Interest, DOTC is set to procure an independent consultant for the public-private partnership (PPP) project that was awarded to the tandem of Megawide Construction Corp. and Bangalore-based GMR Group.

Interested consultants were given until Monday, July 21, to submit their eligibility documents to the DOTC Bids and Awards Committee (BAC).

Bidding Criteria

The agency’s BAC would draw up the short list of consultants from the submissions made and have been determined as eligible in accordance with the provisions of Republic Act No. 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.

Criteria for the short listing of 5 bidders include 45% for applicable experience; 45% for the qualification of key personnel; and 10% for current workload.

The Winning Bidder

DOTC issued a Notice of Award to the GMR-Megawide tandem in April. The project aims to modernize the country’s second largest aviation hub by constructing a new international passenger terminal building and by expanding its existing passenger terminal.

The existing terminal building has a capacity of 4.5 million and has been operating at over-capacity with 6.7 million passengers since 2012.

The Megawide-GMR tandem submitted in December 2013 the highest bid of P14.404 billion ($328.63 million) for the project, followed by the Filinvest-CAI Consortium, which submitted P13.999 billion ($319.39 million) as bid. (READ: Megawide-led consortium submits highest bid for Mactan airport).

Filinvest, however, asked the DOTC in January to disqualify the top bidder for alleged conflict of interest involving GMR Infrastructure of India, First Philippine Airports Consortium, and the Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB).

In February, Senator Sergio “Serge” Osmeña III supported the disqualification by revealing GMR’s ties with Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide (Fraport), the operator partner and majority beneficial owner of Piatco (Philippine International Air Terminals Company Incorporated), the consortium in the NAIA 3 debacle. (READ: Cebu airport winning bidder another Piatco?)

The Megawide-GMR tandem has repeatedly denied the alleged conflict of interest. The same tandem has earmarked at least P20 billion ($456.31 million) for the project. –