Photo Courtesy: Phil JAC

The New Iloilo Airport at Cabatuan, Iloilo

News Blog about the New Iloilo Airport

Monday, August 07, 2006

Airport Name Game
By Gerome Dalipe IV, 8/7/06

It should be Iloilo, not Panay, insist city, prov’l officials

ILOILO – What’s in a name? A lot, according to the Sanguniang Panlalawigan of Iloilo Province and the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Iloilo City.

Naming the soon to be completed airport at the tri-boundaries of Sta. Barbara, Cabatuan and San Miguel towns “Iloilo International Airport” will bring myriad of benefits to the city and province, especially in their tourism industries, explained Provincial Board Member Domingo Oso.

Besides, Oso argued, the new airport is specifically located in Iloilo; Antique Gov. Salvacion “Sally” Zaldivar-Perez, the chairman of the Regional Development Council (RDC-6), recently revealed that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is drafting an Executive Order to name the new airport “Panay International Airport.”

The Sanguniang Panlalawigan of Iloilo will pass a resolution today objecting to the Malacañang-proposed name.

Oso confirmed he will be sponsoring the resolution.

Panay is an island, Oso said. The name of the airport should be specific to where it is actually situated, he added.

In Iloilo City, Mayor Jerry Treñas is also objecting to the “Panay” name.

The City Council will pass a resolution similar to that of the Provincial Board, said Oso.

The resolutions will be sent to Office of the President and Secretaries of the Departments of Tourism and Interior and Local Government.

Gov. Niel Tupas and Treñas said they were not consulted on the plan to name the airport “Panay International Airport.”

Tupas said tourists might get confused. He also said Iloilo city and province are premier locations in Western Visayas.

The tourism industries of the city and province will be adversely affected if the airport is not named after Iloilo, he warned.

The New Iloilo Airport Development Project (NIADP) is worth P5.2 billion. It is being constructed on a 188-hectare area straddling the towns of Sta. Barbara, Cabatuan and San Miguel, around 24 kilometers west of Iloilo City.

The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) is funding the international airport. Taisei-Shimizu Joint Venture is the contractor of the project.

The construction started on March 2004. The airport is expected to be operational by July 2007.

It will have state-of-the-art facilities including a modern terminal, control towers, buildings and landing and navigation systems.

It will have a runway 2.5 kilometers long and 45 meters wide, a passenger terminal with 12,000 square meters of space and a 1,281-square meter cargo terminal.


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