Tuesday, December 12, 2017
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Airport firm eyes Cable car system for Mactan, Cebu

The private sector group behind the Mactan Cebu International Airport is planning to propose a cable car system for Mactan Island, a project it believes would provide an early blueprint for a broader solution to Cebu’s worsening road congestion.

Andrew Harrison, chief executive adviser at GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp., told reporters last week that a cable car system on Mactan Island, which could later be expanded to Cebu’s main island, was one of their “best” solutions thus far.

He said the project, which still required a feasibility study, made sense for Cebu given minimal right-of-way issues and relatively low cost. It was also easier and faster to implement, compared to a larger-scale and more expensive project such as a rail system.

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“We need solutions today so that we have a lead time and we are already too late,” Harrison said. “We need a lead time rather than wait three to four years until we are in a Manila-like [traffic] situation.”

Harrison said there was interest from the private sector, including Megawide Construction Corp. and GMR Infrastructure of India. The two companies teamed up and won the Mactan Cebu International Airport public-private partnership (PPP) contract in 2014.

Harrison shared few details on their proposed cable car system. But he noted that it would have anywhere from eight to 10 stops, including major resorts on Mactan island, key interchanges and the airport itself.

Right of way, a perennial issue that delays transport infrastructure projects, would be minimal in this case since “we only require the footing of the cable car structures,” Harrison said.

GMR-Megawide plans to open a brand-new airport passenger terminal in MCIA next year. This will increase the gateway’s capacity to 12.8 million passengers a year. MCIA is projected to serve some 10 million passenger this year, representing an increase of 12 percent year-on-year.

“Connectivity is absolutely critical,” Harrison said.

He said another solution was the use of driverless cars operating on elevated trackways similar to those now used at London’s Heathrow Airport. But he admitted this system would cost much more.

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TAGS: Airport, Mactan Island, Mactan-Cebu International Airport
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