MANILA—The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is committed on pursuing the development of airports across the country to ensure mobility among the people and further strengthen economic development in the country.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said that the implementation of various airport projects was in line with the vision of the Duterte administration for a Golden Age of Infrastructure to decongest Metro Manila and develop regional centers throughout the country.
Tugade presented the projects being implemented by the DOTr for the aviation sector during the second part of the Dutertenomics forum held Tuesday at the Conrad Hotel in Pasay City, which was attended by delegates from the public and private sectors,including local and foreign media.
The newly developed Puerto Princesa Airport, which is expected to accommodate 1.9 million passengers annually will open early next month.
The development project, estimated to cost Php 4 billion, involved the construction of new passenger and cargo building, apron, taxiways and navigation facilities.
The airport which will serve as a gateway to tourist spots in Palawan province was funded through a loan provided by the Korea Export Import Bank (KEXIM).
The New Panglao Airport in Bohol province, designed to serve 1.9 million passengers yearly, is due to be completed on June 2018.
The new airport, which cost Php 2 billion, was constructed by the DOTr through public private partnership (PPP) and official development assistance (ODA) granted by the Japan International Cooperation Authority (JICA). It will replace the existing Tagbilaran Airport, which is the 11th busiest airport in the country serving 871,383 passengers, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).
The improvement of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA), which will cater to 12 million passengers annually, is expected to be completed by June 2018.
The Php 14-billion project involves the construction of a new world-class passenger terminal building in MCIA and the operation of the old and new facilities to be able to serve both domestic and international flights.
The new structure and the ongoing renovation of the existing terminal are seen to make Mactan-Cebu the world’s first resort airport.
The Php 4.8-billion Bicol International Airport (BIA), which will decongest the crowded Legazpi airport and boost the development of Albay province through increasing tourist arrivals, is due to be completed on June 2018.
The BIA’s Phase 2A includes 17 buildings and land-side facilities. Phase 2B covers the completion of its runway, apron, “two-stub taxiway,” and passenger terminal building.
The DOTr also intends for 40 airports to be developed into night rated capacity airports to enable them to accommodate flights after sunset by the end of the Duterte administration.
Currently, there are already 19 night-rated airports across the country while nine airports are undergoing improvements.
Furthermore, the government has completed the installation of 13 airport radars which are interconnected and integrated with the communication navigation surveillance/air traffic management system (CNS/ATM).
The CNS/ATM ensures safer and efficient flights through better air traffic control management and one-time flight arrivals and departure.
“Travel will be more definite and identification of airports will be more established. Safety and security are guaranteed as well,” Tugade said.
The CNS/ATM is being eyed to be fully established inn December 2017.
“The various transportation projects being undertaken by the government seek to enhance mobility and guaranteeing continuity to critical factors in ensuring development in the country. The Duterte administration is pursuing a multiple and expanded growth that is not only limited to Metro Manila,” the Transportation Secretary emphasized.
Dutertenomics is the economic and development blueprint of the President for the country, which consists of governance and fiscal policies, comprehensive big-ticket infrastructure programs and upgraded social services targeted to accelerate growth and transform the Philippines into a higher middle income economy by 2022.