New Iloilo int’l airport to open this month
By Rainier Allan Ronda
The new Iloilo International Airport built at a cost of about P9 billion will be opened for full commercial operation in the last week of April.
Transportation Assistant Secretary for Plans and Programs Elmer Soneja said there is no exact date yet for the airport’s opening.
He said the airport was originally slated to be opened on April 16 but they had to postpone it until President Arroyo’s return from her visit to China at the end of the month.
Soneja gave assurance though that the new airport is all set for full commercial operation this month.
Built on a 200-hectare property in the middle of the Iloilo municipalities of Santa Barbara and Cabatuan 19 kilometers north of Iloilo City, the new airport complies with international standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The old airport was located in Mandurriao, Iloilo City.
The new airport has a 2,500 meter x 45 meter runway, a 48,000-square-meter apron, a 3,000 meter x 30 meter access road, a passenger terminal with a floor area of about 12,000 square meters, a cargo terminal building, an administration building, a 35-meter high tower and operations center building, central plant and maintenance buildings with complete equipment, and a crash-fire-rescue station, among other facilities.
The three-story passenger terminal houses the baggage conveyor on the first floor, check-in area and airline offices on the second floor, pre-departure area on the third floor, and arrival area along the corridors leading to the first floor.
The airport can accommodate six aircraft simultaneously parking at any given time. Air navigation systems, including a radar area, are also in place.
Iloilo, whose airport has the fourth highest passenger traffic in the country, will benefit from the influx of tourists and investors once the new airport becomes operational this month.
The government is auctioning off the old domestic airport in Mandurriao, with several top property developers expressing interest in it.
The new airport will serve the growing passenger and cargo traffic in Iloilo. It is expected to boost the economic development of the Visayas, particularly Region 6 comprising the provinces of Antique, Aklan, Iloilo, Capiz, Guimaras, and Negros Occidental.
The Philippine Star 04/18/2007