By John Rey Saavedra

FUEL HYDRANT. Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority general manager and CEO Julius Neri Jr. (left) listens to an official during the ceremonial switch-on of a new fuel hydrant system at the airport grounds on Friday (Feb. 3, 2023). Neri said the new system for delivering fuel to standby aircraft would help boost air traffic in Cebu. (Photo courtesy of MCIA-GMCAC)

CEBU CITY – The installation of a fuel hydrant system (FHS) at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) will speed up aircraft turnaround and increase air traffic in Cebu, an official said on Saturday.

The new system for delivering fuel to the aircraft will help position the province as the premier tourist destination in central Philippines and transit hub in the country in time for the reopening of the economy, MCIA general manager and chief executive officer Julius Neri Jr. said.

“The FHS is a milestone for the MCIA as it enables us to turn around more aircraft faster. The resulting efficiencies and increased capacity are very timely as our soon-to-be-finished second runway will certainly benefit from it as well,” Neri said.

The GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC) said in a statement that the commissioning of the FHS ensures safe and efficient operations at the airport, allowing for an increased fuel delivery rate to the aircraft.

The new hydrant has a systemized fuel inventory management and fewer ground support equipment movements.

GMCAC director Rafael Aboitiz said airport officials saw a significant increase in the MCIA’s air traffic, prompting them to develop a system to enable a faster turnaround of more aircraft without sacrificing safety and efficiency in airport operations.

“With the FHS, fuel delivery rates to the aircraft (have) increased considerably with reduced ground support movement and increased availability of aircraft stands,” Aboitiz said, citing the MCIA as “the second busiest gateway in the country.”

Neri and Aboitiz led other officials in a ceremony Friday to switch on the FHS at the MCIA grounds.

Officials of Petron Corp., airline operators, and an airline manager attended the event.

Neri told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) that the FHS was set up through funds from GMCAC. However, no figures were released.

He said Petron provided the fuel storage facility as it will be the one to provide the fuel supply for the serviced aircraft. (PNA)