CLARK, Pampanga — Tourists, local and foreign, will soon land in an airport providing direct access to the island paradise of Panglao in Bohol.
The New Bohol (Panglao) Airport is 92.14 percent complete as of 31 July and on track for inauguration in October this year.
In a recent visit and site inspection, Department of Transportation (DoTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade, along with other airport officials, checked the progress of the construction works, from the runway to the passenger terminal, perimeter fence, and the sewerage treatment system to ensure that the project will be completed as scheduled.
When the Duterte administration came in, the target year of completion of the Panglao Airport was 2021. The construction started in June 2015, but accumulated up to 48 percent of slippage due to delays.
“We needed a catch-up plan for the Panglao airport. The 2021 target is just too long. How can you explain to the people that it took you six years to build an airport? Kinailangan po nating habulin, at iyon po ang ginawa natin (We need to catch up and that’s what we did),” said Tugade.
Since the new administration took over in July 2016, Tugade ordered a 24/7 construction schedule to fast-track completion of the airport. Since then, construction has seen a huge jump from the previous 6.48 percent completion recorded from 22 June 2015 to 30 June 2016. In two years, the percentage completion jumped to 85.66 percent.
Dubbed the “Green Gateway to the World,” the Panglao airport will be the country’s first eco-airport for having the highest standards of green and sustainable structures.
“Everyone should be excited about Panglao airport. I am very excited. This is the kind of airport that we should be building, an airport that has regard for the environment and the future generations,” said Tugade.
The airport will primarily use natural ventilation. Solar panels will also be installed on the Passenger Terminal Building roof which can cover around one-third of the airport’s passenger terminal building energy requirement.
It is also expected to boost tourist arrivals and improve trade. The airport is designed to accommodate two million passengers, more than double the capacity of the Tagbilaran airport. The passenger terminal building has an area of 13,884 square meters and equipped with three boarding bridges and a baggage handling system.
The apron was likewise engineered to accommodate seven aircraft at one time, including large aircraft for international flights.