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The New Iloilo Airport at Cabatuan, Iloilo

News Blog about the New Iloilo Airport

Thursday, April 12, 2007

GMA to inaugurate new Iloilo airport

Panay News. 2007-04-12
By DAVID ISRAEL SINAY

ILOILO City – President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will inaugurate the new Iloilo airport of international standards on April 16.

The sprawling new airport, which straddles the municipalities of Sta. Barbara, San Miguel and Cabatuan, will open for commercial flights on April 21.

Mayor Jerry Treñas said the opening of the P6.187-billion new Iloilo airport will also mean the closure of the existing domestic airport in Mandurriao district here.

Today, Treñas said property developer Rockwell Land will discuss with him possible investments at the old airport site.

Rockwell Land is one of the five property developers interested to acquire the 54-hectare Mandurriao airport.

Treñas said he will also be meeting with representatives of SM Prime Holdings and Ayala Land.

Representatives of Robinsons Land and Megaworld met with the city mayor much earlier.

Treñas said he would like the winning bidder to develop the old airport into a theme park, build in there a convention center, establish a hospital or set up an information technology (IT) park for business process outsourcing.

Treñas envisions the theme park to be similar to Enchanted Kingdom and Star City as this would draw more tourists to Iloilo.

Treñas said he would also want investors to put up a 5,000-seater convention center in line with his dream of making the city into the country's "convention center."

Also, with the fast growing industry on business process outsourcing, Treñas said putting up an IT park would encourage call centers to invest in this city. He said several call center companies conveyed interest to invest here but the lack of facility holds them back from doing so.

The government is pushing for the sale of the property after it decided to transfer airport operations to a new site on a 188-hectare lot straddling the municipalities of Sta. Barbara, Cabatuan and San Miguel.

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.

During her visit here January last year, President Arroyo is confident that the privatization of the Mandurriao airport would further boost local tourism and economic activities.

She also said the privatization would generate funds for major development projects in Iloilo and the whole Panay Island.

The President said part of the proceeds of the airportt privatization would be used to finance the construction of a first-class highway interconnecting the provinces of Iloilo, Capiz, and Antique up to Caticlan, Aklan the gateway to the world-famous tourism destination -- Boracay Island.

Panay News. 2007-04-12

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