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GMA seeks expansion of Bacolod-Silay airport, Dennis Uy offer in the wings

BACOLOD CITY — Outgoing Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo visited Silay City in Negros Occidental anew on Friday afternoon to check the status of the proposed expansion of the Bacolod-Silay Airport.

BACOLOD CITY — Outgoing Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo visited Silay City in Negros Occidental anew on Friday afternoon to check the status of the proposed expansion of the Bacolod-Silay Airport.

“The last time we came, the people here were asking about the expansion plans because the volume of passengers has become bigger than we expected. So there’s a need for expansion,” Arroyo said during her meeting with airport officials at the office of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).

Private firms are expected to vie for the contract for the expansion, capacity augmentation, and operation and maintenance of the Bacolod-Silay Airport.

Bilyonaryo Dennis Uy’s Udenna Infrastructure Corp. has submitted an unsolicited proposal, which still needs to undergo a Swiss challenge, wherein other companies are invited to submit counterproposals.

Arroyo’s visit last January 18 coincided with the airport’s 11th anniversary. At that time, she said it was part of her “sentimental journey” to her favorite projects in the country.

As president, Arroyo led the inauguration of the Bacolod-Silay Airport on July 13, 2007 ahead of its formal opening as an airport of international standards on Jan. 18, 2008.

Arroyo has been keeping track of the proposed expansion of the Iloilo Airport, which also opened about the same time as the Bacolod-Silay Airport during her term as president.

The Bacolod-Silay Airport has a capacity of 1.2 million passengers but is now catering to 1.6 million passengers every year while the Iloilo International Airport was built with a capacity of 1.2 million per year, but is now operating with 2.4 million passengers.

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