SMC President Ramon S. Ang said the budget will cover the expansion program of the airport complex which would be completed in two to three years time that will increase the terminal’s annual capacity to 3 million passengers from the current 500,000. The airport already serves about 700,000 visitors in 2010.
Airport improvements will cover land grading and reclamations to expand Caticlan's 850 meter runway to 1,000 meters in 2012, and up to 1,500 meters in 2025, according to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards, and a new terminal building complex will be constructed which will see also the construction of 5,000 hotel rooms, a convention center and commercial developments to be operated by third-party managers. Navigational aids and equipment to the tune of $20 million will also be installed a the airport for safety and night airport operations.
Trans Aire Development Holdings Corp., formerly Caticlan International Airport Development Corp., holds a 25-year concession from the government to operate and develop the airport.
Ang said they hoped to expand the airport’s runway to as much as 2,500 meters by 2030 but such project would entail more lot acquisitions and environmental concerns which is beyond their authority as airport operator.
"Its a dream. But if the government is able to secure more lands for its [airport's] expansion, then we'll be able to do that. Its better for us if an Airbus jet can land at this airport" says Ang.
ICAO requires airport of propose 4C or D design criteria with 2-2.5k runway x 45 meters specifications to have 150 meters of Runway Safe Area (RSA) otherwise known as the runway strip width. Caticlan airport currently have an RSA of 50 meters way below the standards of 60 meters but enough for exemption to 2B and 2C classification. It can expand at most to 100 meters RSA at its present lot, inclusive of the demolition of the hill on the east of the runway.
A 2B airport has 800 meter runway but not more than 1,200 meters for aircraft with wingspan of 15-23 meters. Cebu Pacific and Airphil Express uses an aircraft at the airport with a wingspan of more than 27 meters intended for a 2C airport which Trans Aire intends to comply in the short term.
An Airbus 319/320 aircraft has an Airport Reference Code of 4C that needs a 2.1K runway based on ICAO specifications, but at least 1,500 meters of runway will do for a restricted payload with destinations up to 800-1000 nautical miles (nm). The A319 has a maximum range of 3,700nm and 3,200nm for the A320 respectively if it were to take-off at its intended Aeroplane field reference length (ARFL).