Photo Courtesy: Phil JAC

The New Iloilo Airport at Cabatuan, Iloilo

News Blog about the New Iloilo Airport

Thursday, February 01, 2007

DREAM FULFILLED

Panay News

New airport opens in April; a new gateway to Visayas
BY DAVID ISRAEL SINAY

ILOILO City – The P6.187-billion new Iloilo airport of international standards will open for commercial flights in the first week of April this year, announced Senator Franklin Drilon.

A test flight was supposed to be conducted yesterday but did not push through; no reason was given. But Drilon, who worked hard for the project’s realization since 1995, went ahead with the ocular inspection with Secretary Leandro Mendoza of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC). Both were pleased with what they saw.

Drilon expressed fulfillment. “I am able to complete the airport. I will be proud to look back my 12 years as senator,” he said.

The opening of this new airport will also mean the closure of the existing domestic airport in Mandurriao district here.

Drilon said the Department of Finance’s (DOF) Assets Disposition division is eyeing a joint venture or an outright sale of the 54-hectare Mandurriao property. Appraisals have already been made on the value of the property, he disclosed.

By February, airline companies shall start constructing their offices at the new airport that straddles the boundaries of the municipalities of Sta. Barbara, San Miguel and Cabatuan, said Mendoza.

DOTC Project Manager Eduardo Mangalili said the airport is about 96 percent finished now. These include civil works, utility works, building works and navigational works.

The new airport will be a new gateway to the Visayas for air travelers in the country and worldwide. It has 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.

Drilon said it will open vast opportunities fro business, employment and economic growth.

The new Iloilo airport is part of the DOTC’s development thrust of developing airports of international standards. Mendoza said the new airport will improve air transportation safety and boost the economy of Western Visayas.

The existing Iloilo airport in Mandurriao is the fourth busiest in the country in terms of passenger traffic, next to the Ninoy Aquino, Mactan and Davao international airports. But it can no longer be expanded due to the existence of roads and rivers, and the urbanization around it. It also has obsolete facilities. Thus the creation of the new airport sitting on 188 hectares of land.

On March 2000, the implementation of the project was approved by the National Economic Development Authority which led to the signing of the Special Yen Loan Package (SYLP) Loan Agreement PH P-214 between the Government of the Philippines and Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) on August 31, 2000.

Construction started on April 19, 2004. Repayment will be done for 30 years, starting on August 20, 2010 at an interest rate of 0.9 percent with a grace period on principal in seven years, Mendoza said.

The Japanese contractor of the airport project is scheduled to turn over the facility to the DOTC on March 17, 2007.

On the other hand, the old domestic airport in Mandurriao, Iloilo City will be transformed into a commercial and light industrial complex.

The new airport aims to serve the increasing number of air passenger and cargo traffic in Iloilo, and its influence areas to boost economic development of the Visayas regions, particularly Region VI covering the provinces of Antique, Aklan, Iloilo, Capiz, Guimaras and Negros Occidental.

Panay News

1 Comments:

  • At Wednesday, March 07, 2007 7:29:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Does it mean (as from April 14th) the Mandurriao airport will no longer operate, hence all flights will be diverted to this new airport?

     

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