MOA SIGNING. Department of Transportation Undersecretary for Aviation and Airports Roberto Lim (center seated) and MOTC-BARMM Minister Dickson Hermoso (2nd left seated) pose with other officials after the memorandum of agreement signing on Wednesday (Sept. 21, 2022), which signals the transfer of the management of all airports in the region to the Bangsamoro Airport Authority. There are at least six airport facilities in BARMM, two of them non-operational. (Photo courtesy of Bangsamoro Information Office - BARMM)

COTABATO CITY – The management of all airports across the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) has been transferred to the region’s Ministry of Transportation and Communication (MOTC), officials said Thursday.

MOTC Minister Dickson Hermoso said the transfer came about after the signing of a memorandum of agreement Wednesday afternoon between representatives of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines – Department of Transportation (CAAP-DOTr) and Bangsamoro Airport Authority (BAA).

DOTr Undersecretary for Aviation and Airports Roberto Lim, CAAP acting Director-General Capt. Manuel Antonio Tamayo, and Hermoso led the signing ceremony at the Awang Airport in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao.

Under the agreement, the CAAP will completely transfer to BAA all the properties, assets, powers, and functions regarding the landslide management of operational airports in Cotabato (Awang); Sanga-Sanga in Tawi-Tawi; Jolo Airport in Sulu; Mapun runway in Tawi-Tawi; as well as the non-operational airports in Malabang and Wao airstrips, both in Lanao del Sur.

CAAP also transferred the management of the airport structure and facilities in the “landslide operations” to BAA.
 
The “landslide portion” includes the passenger terminal building, administrative building, and vehicular parking area, among others.

In the same agreement, CAAP will retain the airside operational control of runways, taxiways, ramps, airport control towers, power plants, and flight service station buildings.

Also retained under CAAP’s control are the air traffic administration building, aircraft rescue and firefighting units, the International Civil Aviation Organization, and air navigation equipment and facilities.
 
“With the turnover comes great responsibilities for the BAA and MOTC,” Hermoso said.

The CAAP also will provide technical assistance to BAA through training, seminar and other activities that will enhance the capacity of the latter to perform its functions.
 
CAAP lawyer Mark Nester Mendoza said the agencies will still provide financial support for the airports’ maintenance and other operating expenses until Dec. 31 this year. (PNA)