A top Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) official expressed optimism that the newly-built Bohol Panglao International Airport (BPIA) in the resort island of Panglao will be regarded as among the best airports in Asia by 2020.
The statement was made by CAAP spokesperson Eric Apolonio after the Iloilo International Airport ranked 18th and Mactan Cebu International Airport placed 16th on sleepinginairports.net’s 20 Best Airports in Asia for 2019.
“We expect that more Philippine airports will be included (on the list) next year. The survey for the 2019 list was done until September. We have airports that were built just recently,” Apolonio said.
Apolonio sees the BPIA, and the airports in General Santos and Laguindingan that are both undergoing rehabilitation, joining the 2020 best list.
“We are very optimistic that these airports would make it into the list,” Apolonio said.
In the survey, travelers were asked to rank their experiences on the following: comfort; services; food options; immigration or security; customer service; ease of transit; cleanliness; and “sleepability.”
The yearly survey meanwhile ranked Singapore’s Changi Airport as the best airport in the continent for 2019.
Other airports on the list include Seoul Incheon Airport, Tokyo Narita Airport, Osaka Kansai Airport, Taipei Taoyuan Airport, Hong Kong Airport, Kuala Lumpur Airport, New Delhi Airport, Jakarta Airport, Tokyo Haneda Airport, Mumbai Airport, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangalore Airport, Ho Chi Minh City Tan Son Nhat Airport, Hyderabad Airport, Da Nang Airport, Islamabad Airport, and Kunming Airport.
The BPIA is currently run by the CAAP while the privatization of its operations, maintenance and upgrade is undergoing a battery of approvals from the government.
Decisions of the Investment Coordination Committee – Cabinet Committee (ICC – CAbCom) on the privatization of the BPIA’S operations and maintenance (O&M) and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport’s (NAIA) rehabilitation were expected to be made before the end of September.
However, the ICC-CabCom had only approved the unsolicited Build-Operate-Transfer proposal for NAIA, based on a statement issued by NEDA on October 1.
Transportation Undersecretary for planning Ruben Reinoso told The Philippine Star that the ICC has recommended to Aboitiz InfraCapital (AIC) to make an adjustment that would entail a major restructuring of its proposal to upgrade, operate and maintain the BPIA.
AIC, the infra arm of the Aboitiz group, secured the original proponent status from the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for the BPIA on Sept. 3, 2018.
“Panglao has four phases. After phase one, they will only start phase two after the adjustment of fees. We don’t want that. We said we are not going to guarantee any adjustment,” Reinoso was quoted as saying by The Philippine Star in an October 8 report.
“What the ICC is now saying is let’s remove the augmentation, just make it O&M (operations and maintenance) only and then government will be the one to invest on the augmentation. The problem of the proponent is what if the government doesnt do the investment, then they will not be able to meet the minimum performance standards and specifications they have committed under the contract. If they cannot do that then they will be penalized,” he added. (with a report from PNA)