New Iloilo airport development project moving

PIA Press Release 2004/01/27

New Iloilo airport development project moving

by E.S. Subong

Cabatuan, Iloilo (27 Jan) -- The fate of the new Iloilo Airport Development Project was sealed towards fulfillment when Transportation and Communications Secretary Leandro Mendoza declared that all systems go for the project.

Secretary Mendoza said that with the approval of the budget amounting to about 6.2 billion pesos, the New Iloilo Airport Development Project (NIADP) swings fast to address the problems that the existing airport is facing.

He noted that based on an overall review on the sustainability of the existing airport and the latest traffic forecast and requirements of the Philippine Airlines intending to operate A330 aircraft at Iloilo Airport, the existing airport is no longer capable of responding to future requirements, particularly transportation safety and convenience.

Among the 86 national government airports, the Iloilo Airport is the fourth busiest in the country in terms of the number of passenger traffic next to NAIA, Mactan and Davao International Airports.

The Iloilo airport caters to the increasing number of air passengers and cargo traffic not only in the provice from including the provinces of Aklan, Guimaras, Capiz, Antique and even Negros Occidental.

In 1997, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) conducted a study on Selected Airports Master Planning Project and formulated the long-term development requirements for four trunk line airports, which included Iloilo, Bacolod, Tacloban and Legaspi.

JICA recommended that site selection study be undertaken. A Pre-feasibility Study complemented JICAs, wherein the urgent need for the development of the New Iloilo Airport was confirmed.

Mendoza further explained that the development project is quite drastic with the inevitable need for a magnitude of land acquisition and resettlement.

Basing on the studies conducted and several consultations made, the project proponents identified the site of the new airport to be within the 10 barangays of the municipalities of Sta. Barbara and Cabatuan, with a total of 188 hectares.

In 1999, the Philippine government decided to develop a new airport complex of international standards with the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) as the lead agency.

Through the DOTC, the government requested the government of Japan to extend financial assistance under the special Yen Loan Package of the Japan for International Cooperation (JBIC).

In March 200, NEDA approved the project in the amount of Php 6.187 billion, about Php .928 billion of which involves the government counterpart.

The scope of work includes the 2,500 m x 45 meters runway, 48,000 sq. meters apron, 3,000 m x 30 meters access road, passenger terminal which is about 12,000 square meters, cargo terminal building, administration building, 35 meters high tower and operation building, central plant building, maintenance building and equipment, crash-fire-rescue station and equipment, and many others.

The Iloilo airport project is expected to be finished in 42 months, or about three years and a half. (PIA)

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