Photo Courtesy: Phil JAC

The New Iloilo Airport at Cabatuan, Iloilo

News Blog about the New Iloilo Airport

Friday, January 26, 2007

Topping ceremony of new Iloilo airport set Friday

Sunstar Iloilo. 1/26/2007

SENATOR Franklin M. Drilon leads the topping ceremony of the international airport in Iloilo City on Friday signaling its near-completion after eight years of planning and actual construction.

Drilon, who will be ending his second term as senator in June, considers the completion of the Iloilo airport project as one of his most significant achievement as a public servant.

"This is my way of expressing faith in the development and the future of my home town. My kasimanwa will greatly benefit from this new airport," Drilon said.

According to a report of the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC), the airport is now 97 percent complete and will be operational in April this year.

"The New Iloilo Airport will bring a new level of comfort, traveling convenience and efficiency to passengers across the nation and the world," Drilon, who is also president of the Liberal Party, said.

Joining Drilon in the walk-through inspection of the airport on Friday are DOTC Secretary Leandro Mendoza, Iloilo Governor Niel Tupas, Sr. and other Iloilo local government officials.

Drilon, a native of Iloilo, played a lead role in the completion of the P8.7 billion Iloilo airport project in the past eight years. He was part of the steering committee which oversees the project implementation. In November 1998, then President Joseph Estrada issued a memorandum creating the Iloilo Airport Coordinating Committee, with Drilon as adviser.

The three-story passenger terminal, about 12,000 sq. meter in floor area, houses the baggage conveyor on the first floor, the check in area and the airline offices on the second floor and the pre-departure area on the third, and the arrival area along the corridors that lead to the first floor. The airport can accommodate six aircrafts simultaneously parking at a time. Air navigation systems, including a radar area is also in place.

The project was launched in Iloilo in January 2004. The airport is seen to increase air passenger and cargo traffic in the province and its influence areas to boost economic development in Western Visayas.

The new airport is sprawled in 188-hectare site between the towns of Cabatuan and Sta. Barbara, located 19 kilometers north of Iloilo City. The plan is to convert the area into a commercial, residential and semi-industrial district. It will be a domestic trunk line airport that will replace the existing airport in Mandurriao.

"The rise of a first-rate airport in Western Visayas that is compliant with international standards is crucial to the development of the country. This will boost our air transportation services, making the Philippines more accessible to the rest of the world," Drilon said.

Sunstar Iloilo. 1/26/2007


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