Aboitiz InfraCapital (AIC) has been awarded original proponent status (OPS) by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) to upgrade Laguindingan Airport.
The award of OPS will enable the company to proceed with its undisclosed proposal to upgrade, expand, operate and maintain Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental.
AIC COO Cosette Canilao said: “The granting of the OPS for the Laguindingan Airport opens up an opportunity for us to play a major role in improving our country’s vital gateways.
“We look forward to progressing beyond project development, and into project execution and operations in 2019.”
The PHP42.7bn ($81.81m) project includes capacity increase through expansion or construction of new passenger terminals, installation of equipment, as well as improvement and development of airside facilities.
Aboitiz has selected design and engineering company Arup to advise on the technical studies and master plan for the proposed development.
The modernisation of the airport is expected to promote investments and development of a number of industries in the region, with a particular focus on tourism.
Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industries Region 10 Governor Ghaye Alegrio said: “The airport is a very important factor. We are excited to know that Aboitiz got the OPS. It took us 20 years before this airport was built. We don’t want to wait another 20 years for its expansion.”
The CAAP figures indicate that approximately two million travellers passed through Laguindingan Airport in 2018. Its passenger handling capacity is exceeding more than 1.6 million passengers per year since it started operations in 2013.
Aboitiz InfraCapital is also part of the NAIA Consortium, which secured OPS from the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Manila International Airport Authority on its proposal to rehabilitate and expand facilities at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
The company sought a concession period of 35 years to operate Iloilo International Airport, Bacolod-Silay Airport, Laguindingan Airport and New Bohol International Airport in Panglao.