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DOTC taps Korea's biggest airport operator for Puerto project

By Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) Updated October 29, 2012 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) has tapped the operator of the biggest international airport in South Korea as consultant for the P4.3-billion Puerto Princesa airport development project.

The DOTC awarded a contract for consultancy for the airport development project to Incheon International Airport Corp. in the amount of KRW4.678 billion or about $4.1 million

The Notice of Award dated Oct. 15, 2012 was signed by then DOTC acting secretary Rafael Santos.

 “We are pleased to inform you that based on the findings of the Primary Bids and Awards Committee of this Department, the contract for consultancy for the tender documents, preparation, assistance in bidding, and construction and maintenance supervision of the Puerto Princesa airport development project is hereby awarded to you,” Santos stated in the letter to Incheon International Airport director of overseas business group Hak Chul Kim.

The company operates the largest airport in South Korea and is one of the largest and busiest airports in the world. For seven years in a row (2005–2012), it was rated the best airport worldwide by Airports Council International.

The airport serves as a hub for international civilian air transportation and cargo traffic in East Asia. It is also currently Asia’s eighth busiest airport in terms of passengers, the world’s fourth busiest airport by cargo traffic, and the world’s eighth busiest airport in terms of international passengers in 2010.

The project involves the rehabilitation or improvement of the existing Puerto Princesa Airport to meet the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) through the construction of new landside facilities in the north western side of the existing runway such as passenger terminal building, control tower, administration and operation building, cargo terminal building, rescue and fire fighting building and other support facilities.

The project also involves the construction of new apron and connecting taxiways, upgrading of the existing 2.6 kilometer runway and its strip as well as the provision of new navigational and traffic control equipment.

The project also aims to revitalize the transport and trade linkages under the Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines-East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).

Recently, Palawan’s Underground River was declared as one of the “7 New Wonders of the World” drawing record numbers of tourists to the nation’s westernmost province.

Last Aug. 23, Finance secretary Cesar Purisima inked an agreement on behalf of the Philippine government. Export-Import Bank of Korea chairman and President Yong Hwan Kim signed on behalf of the Republic of Korea to finance the project.

South Korea agreed to support the development and rehabilitation of Puerto Princesa Airport by providing a $71.6-million loan or about P3 billion as official development assistance (ODA).

The loan would finance the construction of a new passenger terminal with facilities and a new access road.

Part of the money would also help improve the runway and finance navigational aids to cover the increasing number of domestic and international flights to and from Puerto Princesa.

This is the second deal inked by the Philippine government with Korea Eximbank. A $207.88-million loan agreement for the Jalaur River Multipurpose Project Phase II of the National Irrigation Administration was clinched last month between KEXIM and the Philippine government.

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