San Miguel keen on Laguindingan airport PPP

Rappler.com
'If the government offers it, we will join,' says San Miguel president and COO Ramon Ang

NEW GATEWAY. Newly built Laguindingan airport replaces the old airport in Cagayan de Oro as northern Mindanao's main gateway. Photo by Giano Ligot

MANILA, Philippines – Diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. is keen on participating in the planned bidding of the contract to operate and manage (O&M) the Laguindingan Airport.

“If the government offers it, we will join,” San Miguel president and COO Ramon Ang told reporters on Tuesday, June 11.

“We are interested in any Public-Private Partnership (PPP),” he added.

The P7.8-billion Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental is the new gateway to northern Mindanao. It replaces Cagayan de Oro’s Lumbia Airport, which will be turned over to the Philippine Air Force.

Four airlines operating from Lumbia – Philippine Airlines (PAL), PAL Express, Cebu Pacific, and Zest Airways – have transferred to the Laguindingan facility, which opens June 15.

Airport features

The Laguindingan Airport sits on a 400-hectare property, whose master design was created in 2000.

It features a 2.1-kilometer runway and a 7,184-square meter passenger terminal building with a capacity of 1.6 million passengers per year.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) will temporarily operate the airport using Visual Flight Rules until a navigation equipment called Instrument Landing System is installed by May 2014.

President Benigno Aquino III led the final inspection of the airport on June 11.

Joining him were Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya, Misamis Oriental Governor Oscar Moreno, CAAP Director-General William Hotchkiss III, and South Korean Ambassador Hyuk Lee.

Businessman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, chairman of the Philippines’ oldest conglomerate Ayala Corp., was also there.

Apart from San Miguel, Ayala expressed interest to participate in the bidding of Laguindingan’s O&M.

Cebu facility

The Ayala and San Miguel-Lucio Tan groups lead two of the 7 consortiums that were prequalified to join in the bidding of the country’s first airport PPP – the P17.5-billion Mactan-Cebu International Airport expansion project.

San Miguel, which owns legacy carrier PAL, was able to join after the Department of Transportation and Communications relaxed guidelines previously banning the participation of airline owners.

Ayala and San Miguel are competing against other big groups including the consortiums of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. and JG Summit Holdings Inc., Lopez-led First Philippine Holdings Corp., and the Henry Sy group.

The expansion of the Cebu airport involves the construction of a new world-class passenger terminal building with capacity of 8 million passengers a year. The airport served 6.2 million passengers in 2011, beyond its normal capacity of 4.5 million. – Rappler.com

 

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