Photo Courtesy: Phil JAC

The New Iloilo Airport at Cabatuan, Iloilo

News Blog about the New Iloilo Airport

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

ILOILO’S GATEWAY TO THE WORLD

The Guardian Iloilo. 1/27/2007

New airpoArt to land first commercial flight April 18
by Francis Allan Angelo

THE first commercial flight will land on the New Iloilo Airport Development Project (Niadp) at Cabatuan-Sta. Barbara area April 18.

This was the assurance made by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) during a site visit-cum-media briefing at the P6-B airport facility Friday.

Among the national and local officials present in the visit were Senator Franklin Drilon, DOTC Secretary Leandro Mendoza, Iloilo 3rd district Rep. Arthur Defensor, Tesda Director-General Augusto Syjuco, Governor Niel Tupas, Airport Project Manager Eduardo Manalili and representatives from the Taisei-Shimizu Joint Venture, the project contractor.

Manalili said the project is now 97 percent complete, particularly the civil works.

The new airport, which is of international standards, sits on a 200-hectare land straddling the towns of Sta. Barbara and Cabatuan.

The facility includes a 2.5-kilometer x 45-meter runway; 48,000-square meter apron or the paved area on which aircrafts load and unload; 3-km x 30-m access road; 12,000-sq.m. passenger terminal; 1,281-sq.m. cargo terminal building; administration building; 35-m high tower and operation building; central plant building; maintenance building and equipment; and crash-fire-rescue station and equipment.

Other utilities are water supply, storage, and distribution system, electrical system and sewage treatment.

The newly-constructed airport can accommodate six commercial planes at a time.

The Japanese contractor is still testing and commissioning the high tech navigational and communications equipment of the airport before turning it over to the national government.

“There is no doubt that this facility will spur economic growth and development in this side of the region when the airport operates on April 18,” Drilon said.

Defensor said the airport has been a dream of Ilonggos who want to break into the international arena.

“The airport will be our gateway to the world, especially that many tourists flock not only Iloilo but also the rest of Western Visayas,” Defensor said.

Tupas said they are planning to put up an impressive launching party for the airport “to announce to the world the newest and most modern gateway to Western Visayas.”

The Niadp is financed by a P5.259-billion loan from Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) while the Philippine government allotted a counterpart fund of P928 million.

Yesterday’s airport tour saw Tupas and Drilon, who are opposition stalwarts, rubbing elbows with Defensor and Syjuco who are staunch allies of President Arroyo.

Drilon and Tupas jettisoned President Arroyo in 2005 at the height of the Hello Garcia and fertilizer scandals rocking her administration.

Tupas almost lost his post last week because of the dismissal order meted against him by the Ombudsman.

It resulted to a standoff between Tupas and Vice Governor Roberto Armada and a police raid on the Capitol which was stopped by the temporary restraining order from the Court of Appeals.

The Guardian Iloilo. 1/27/2007

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