Airport standards in the Philippines

By Charmaine Haw-Lim and Aileen Sanguir, Gulapa Law Office

Airports figure prominently in the Philippine public-private partnership (PPP) scene. Following the award of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport project in 2014, and its implementation, various airport projects have entered the PPP pipeline: the planned rehabilitation and/or expansion of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA); unsolicited proposals for design, financing and construction of international airports in Bulacan and Clark, Pampanga; and regional airports projects involving airports in Bohol, Laguindingan, Davao, Bacolod, and Iloilo.

A major concern for participants in these projects is airport design and operations – in particular, which set of standards should private proponents or their contractors comply with in the design and operation of airports?

Charmaine Haw-Lim
Charmaine Haw-Lim
Gulapa Law Office

Republic Act No. 9497, otherwise known as the Civil Aviation Authority Act of 2008, provides that the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) may promulgate rules and regulations in the interest of safety in air commerce pertaining to aerodromes, both public and private-owned. An aerodrome is defined as “an airport, a defined area on land or water (including any building, installation and equipment) intended to be used either wholly or in part for the arrival, departure and surface movement of aircraft”. In this regard, the CAAP issued the Civil Aviation Regulation Governing Aerodromes (CAR-Aerodromes) and the Manual of Standards for Aerodromes (MOS).

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CHARMAINE HAW-LIM is a partner in Gulapa Law Office in Manila. She can be contacted on +632 960 2845 (loc. 208) or by email at

AILEEN SANGUIR is a junior associate at the firm. She can be reached at +632 960 2845 (loc. 205) or by email at