The Western Visayas Regional Development Council (RDC) is pushing for the development and rehabilitation of the Iloilo International Airport in a bid to expand its operational capacity and better serve the growing number of tourists flocking to the region’s attractions.
As reported earlier this week by Panay News, the call for the airport’s rehabilitation under a private-public partnership (PPP) scheme was made by Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas, who also serves as the chairman of the RDC’s Infrastructure Development Committee (RDC-IDC).
Treñas earlier passed a resolution urging the Department of Transportation and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines to expedite the review of unsolicited proposals for the expansion and upgrading of the gateway located in Cabatuan, Iloilo.
The Iloilo International Airport experienced a significant surge in passenger traffic in 2022, reaching a substantial volume of 3.4 million and a cargo movement of 4.2 million.
The expansion and development of the Iloilo International Airport which is estimated to cost around P25 billion, covers both the expansion and upgrading of the airport, and the construction of a state-of-the-art terminal building. The DOTr and CAAP are currently tasked with reviewing the unsolicited proposals sent by various companies, with a decision expected to be reached in the coming months.
Among the firms that submitted their unsolicited proposals for the expansion and development of the ILO is Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc. – the infrastructure arm of the Aboitiz Group.
AIC reportedly submitted its unsolicited proposal to the DOTr last April 19. 2023 to upgrade, operate, and maintain the ILO for P9.95 billion under a concession period of 35 years. AIC can very well draw on its on-the-ground knowledge and learnings in the management of the world-class Mactan Cebu International Airport – which AIC has started to be involved with starting this year as part of the Concessionaire – in improving the overall passenger and service experience of the airport.
It can be recalled that in one of Trenas’ earlier interviews last March, he shared that he personally reached out to AIC’s president and CEO Cosette Canilao to consider the proposed expansion of the Iloilo International Airport as a potential area of investment of the company under the PPP after being impressed himself with the Mactan Cebu International Airport when he left for Bangkok.
Another investor, Prime Asset Ventures, Inc, also reportedly submitted a USP for the development of the Iloilo International Airport valued at P6.89 billion.
Treñas earlier sent a letter of request to the National Economic and Development Authority to consider the upgrade of the airport under a PPP scheme.
The Western Visayas RDC is confident that with the development of the Iloilo International Airport, the thriving tourism industry of the region will also bloom along with the promise of generating employment opportunities.
The region is renowned for its rich cultural heritage, boasting of remarkable landmarks such as the Iloilo Cathedral, the Miagao Church, the historic Fort San Pedro and the world-famous resort island of Boracay. The ILO is also a vital gateway that handles direct flights to and from Manila, Cebu, and to other key cities across the archipelago.