By Benjamin Lim Vergara
THE new Bohol-Panglao International Airport will be inaugurated today to soon provide direct access to the island paradise of Panglao in Bohol.
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said the PhP8.914 billion Panglao airport, which was built in a 220-hectare site in Panglao island, is 10 times bigger than Tagbilaran Airport’s 22-hectare land area. It can hold up to 650 passengers during its peak hours compared to Tagbilaran Airport’s capacity of 400 passengers.
Attending as the guest of honor is President Rodrigo Duterte. The other guests are Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, CAAP Director General Jim Sydiongco, Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto, Department of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, and National Economic Development Authority Secretary Ernesto Pernia.
The airport’s construction started in June 2015, but accumulated up to 48 percent slippage due to delays, reports said.
“The construction of the new airport with international standards was launched in cooperation with the Government of Japan and funding support from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The new airport is set to be the country’s first eco-airport, taking pride with its complete airport facilities that feature green and sustainable structures, such as solar panels and motion sensor lighting, among others,” the CAAP said.
The airport can accommodate seven aircraft at one time, including large aircraft for international flights, and was expected to accommodate two million passengers in its opening year.