Bicol Airport Project Moves Forward

Following a legal setback, the Daraga Airport Project to build a new international gateway for Bicol can continue as planned.

daraga airport
Image Source: Wow Legazpi
The Regional Trial Court of Mandaluyong City dismissed the complaints of the losing bidders citing a lack of jurisdiction. This paves the way for the winning bidder, Sunwest Construction Development Corporatation to begin work as soon as possible. Sunwest was awarded the P1.2 billion contract for Phase 1 of the Daraga Airport project after submitting a bid that was 20% lower than the government's floor price at P708 million.

Phase 1 of the project pertains to airside development including construction of the runway and taxiway among other peripheral projects. A separate bidding is to be held for construction of the passenger terminal and landside components.

Meanwhile, the Department of Transportation and Communications just prequalified four groups for the consulting and engineering services contract of the proposed airport. The winning bidder will be tasked with solving the numerous limitations that presently face the existing airport in Legazpi.

Hundreds of flights are cancelled or delayed each year due to the airport's microclimate. The microclimate results from the mountainous area bordering the airport which often creates thick fog that limits visibility for safe flight operations. Unfortunately, the installation of an Instrument Landing System is not possible as the existing 150-meter width of the current runway does not comply with the standard width of 300-meters set by the International Civil Aviation Organization. Existing houses and hills make widening the current runway unfeasable.

The four groups that have been pre-qualified to bid on the P120.4 million contract include:
  • Ove Arup & Partners Hong Kong Ltd.
  • Filipinas Dravo Corp, Key Engineers Co, and Proconsult Inc.
  • Scheme Konsult Inct, Pertconsult, International, DCCD Engineering Corp, and Philipp's Technical Consultants Corp.
  • TCGI Engineers, Urban Integrated Consultants Inc, and Engineering & Development Corporation of the Philippines.
The Bicol region is one of the fastest growing regions of the Philippines and one of the country's hottest tourist spots. With destinations like Mount Mayon, the Caramoan Islands, and Whale Shark Diving in Donsol, the government is eager to make tourism much more accessible to the region.

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