Photo Courtesy: Phil JAC

The New Iloilo Airport at Cabatuan, Iloilo

News Blog about the New Iloilo Airport

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Opening of Iloilo airport to boost tourism, economy of WV : Drilon

Visayan Daily Star. 11/14/2006

ILOILO CITY - Western Visayas' tourism and economy will get a big boost with the opening of the international airport in Iloilo next year.

The P8.759 billion-airport straddling the towns of Sta. Barbara and Cabatuan, around 24 kms west of Iloilo City, will be open to commercial flights on April 15, Sen. Franklin Drilon said.

Drilon said all structural and electrical works will be finished by the end of the year while testing of lights and navigational facilities will be conducted in the first quarter of next year. The facility will be formally turned over by the Taisei-Shimizu Joint Venture to the Department of Transportation and Communication on March 17.

The project is funded by the Special Yen Loan Package of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation.

The airport constructed in a 188-hectare area will help address the increasing number of passengers and cargo traffic in Iloilo.

The current Iloilo City airport in Mandurriao District here is the fourth busiest in the country in terms of the number of passengers next to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, and the Mactan (Cebu) and Davao international airports.

The new airport will include state-of-the-art facilities including a modern terminal, control tower buildings, and landing and navigation systems. It will have a runway measuring 2,500 m x 45 m, a passenger terminal with 12,000 sq. m space and a 1,281 sq. m-cargo terminal.

The 54-hectare site of the old airport is being eyed to be converted into a commercial and light industry complex. The Department of Finance has placed the value of the site at P1 billion.

Drilon said that after the opening of the new airport, the old site should be disposed to generate additional revenues for the government.

Another international airport worth P5.751-billion will also open in July next year in Silay City in Negros Occidental.

The two projects are part of the construction and upgrading of infrastructure projects under the Western Visayas Medium Term Public Investment Program reaching P46.053 billion.

Around P179 million in improvements and expansion of the airport in the capital town of Kalibo in Aklan, gateway to Boracay Island, will be completed on April 2008.

The bulk of the funds will be used to build or improve networks in the provinces of Iloilo, Guimaras, Antique, Aklan, Capiz and Negros Occidental costing P15.125 billion. The other allotments are on airports (P14.689 billion), flood control projects (P13.759 billion) energy (P2.4 billion) and seaports (P.080 billion), according to the Department of Tourism.

Tourism Sec. Joseph "Ace" Durano earlier said that the projects will help consolidate the position of the region in the international tourism market.

Visitors to central Philippines reached 4.23 million last year or 28 percent of the country's total regional travelers. Western Visayas had the most number of visitors with 1,599,670 followed by Central Visayas with 1,460,739, said Durano.*NPB

Visayan Daily Star. 11/14/2006