Philippines-based Ayala and Aboitiz Equity Ventures (AEV) have signed a MoU to form a 50-50 joint venture partnership to bid for the PHP10bn ($240.4m) Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) Passenger Terminal project.
Both firms will sign a definitive agreement following the finalisation of bid rules and terms of reference for when published by the government.
The project is planned to be auctioned under the Philippines Government's public-private partnership (PPP) programme.
The winning bidder will be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the entire airport, as well as the construction of a new international terminal building, which can handle around 8 million passengers every year.
Ayala President and chief operating officer Fernando Zobel de Ayala said: "Both groups strongly believe in the potential of the Mactan Airport to be a compelling gateway to the country for international passengers and to the Visayas for the growing domestic travellers."
AEV president and chief executive officer Erramon Aboitiz said that the partnership with Ayala gives AEV the opportunity to enter into a strategic new segment that is crucial to developing both the country's transportation infrastructure, as well as its tourism potential.
"It also allows us to harness the Aboitiz Group's competencies in construction, logistics, utilities, and real estate development and management," Aboitiz said.
Passenger traffic at the airport, which is currently operating over capacity with more than five million passengers every year, is anticipated to increase at a faster rate with the expected rise in tourist arrivals.
According to the airport, the auction is expected to be launched in late 2012, with construction starting by the end of 2013 or early 2014.
The MCIA is located on a 747ha area and currently operates a combined domestic and international operations area of 38,525.39m².
During the first half of 2012, the airport had handled 4.03 million passengers, when compared to 3.66 million in the previous year.
The airport reported a 4% rise in cargo traffic, registering 29.97 million kilograms, compared to the 28.76 million handled during the same period in 2011.
Image: The new international terminal at MCIA is set to enhance the airport's passenger capacity. Photo: courtesy of Magalhães.