New Bohol airport to open in August
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said a new international airport serving Bohol Island was on track for completion by June this year.
In a statement, the DOTr said construction activities at the P7.8-billion New Bohol International Airport in Panglao was over 70 percent finished. Commercial operations will start on Aug. 2018.
The terminal will span over 13,300 hectares and is expected to handle two million passengers on its opening year. The existing Tagbilaran Airport handles about 800,000 passengers yearly.
The New Bohol International Airport in Panglao will have a 2,500-meter runway. It will later be extended to 2,800 meters.
The runway was engineered to accommodate seven aircraft at a time, including long-range commercial planes. This is part of the government’s strategy to open up areas with significant tourism and trade potential to international routes.
In doing so, the government also reduces the need for carriers to transit to the congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
The new airport is among those the government hopes to further develop and privatize.
Last week, Trasportation Undersecretary for aviation Manuel Antonio L. Tamayo said the administration remained keen on a modernization plan for the Davao, Bacolod, Iloilo, Laguindingan and New Bohol air gateways.
He said new feasibility studies were underway, given the need to update old studies.
The modernization project was pushed back in the previous administration, given that the required procurement process fell too close to the 2016 elections. Changes in policy during the Duterte administration stalled the project further.
Five groups were pre-qualified during the original process. These were Metro Pacific Investments Corp.; San Miguel Corp. with South Korea’s Incheon Airport; Aboitiz Equity Ventures with Vinci Airports; Megawide Construction Corp. and India’s GMR Infrastructure; and the Filinvest Group with Japan’s Sojitz and Jatco.
The regional airports project would have been the second airport public-private partnership project after the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA), which was bagged by Megawide and GMR in 2014.
The DOTr said the new international passenger terminal in MCIA would open by June 2018.
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