Seventeen airport projects in three years could not be that bad.
This was what the Department of Transportation (DoTr) impressed on its report on Tuesday as it marked the Duterte administration’s achievements in bringing progress to the Philippines through infrastructure.
Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade stressed in a statement the importance of advancing air connectivity throughout the country and with the world, saying that the transportation sector is one with the government’s quest to forward regional and national progress.
Tugade said that the DoTr’s Aviation and Airports Sector and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) had already finished 17 airport projects with 28 more ongoing, in the first half of Duterte’s term.
“Connectivity and mobility in transport are key components in socio-economic development. By building new airports and rehabilitating existing ones, the transportation sector contributes to both regional and national progress,” Tugade said.
The Transport secretary explained that during the first half of Duterte’s term, two new international airports have been built — namely the Lal-Lo International Airport in Cagayan, and the country’s first eco-airport, the Bohol-Panglao International Airport.
He also revealed that 15 other existing gateways have also been upgraded, two of which are international and 13 domestic airports, while the rehabilitated international airports include the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) — which was hailed as the world’s friendliest resort airport.
According to Tugade, the MCIA opened its new passenger terminal building last year and boosted the airport’s annual capacity to 13.5 million passengers under the government’s “Build, Build, Build” program.
The Transport chief also noted that the Puerto Princesa Airport’s passenger terminal building was also expanded, with its runway extended to accommodate larger aircraft, while the Ormoc Airport opened its doors last 5 July with new facilities — including a renovated passenger terminal building and a widened runway.
“Additionally, infrastructure developments for the domestic airports of Virac, Marinduque, Tuguegarao, San Vicente, and Busuanga in Luzon; Maasin, Tacloban, and Catarman in the Visayas; and Ipil, Camiguin and Siargao in Mindanao, have been accomplished,” Tugade said.
Together with CAAP, the DoTr is accelerating the ongoing infrastructure development in 27 commercial airports and one military air base. The government is also set to build one more international airport, it added.
Meantime, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) continues the rehabilitation works for its Terminal 2 — including the expansion of departure check-in hall and arrival baggage area and architectural improvements in passenger movement areas.
“We are also upgrading the aerobridge areas and elevated roadway; new glass wall panels and partitions; upgrade of air-conditioning system, power, lightings, fire protection and electronics and communications systems; installation of an improved flight information display system and a new public address system and waterproofing works for building exterior,” Tugade said.
As the NAIA rehabilitation continues, the government is also working to decongest the main gateway through complementary infrastructure development.
“Additional facilities at the Sangley Airport in Cavite are now under 24/7 construction to meet the November 2019 deadline of the President for the military air base to commence general aviation and turboprop operations,” the DoTr said, adding that construction is also ongoing for the second passenger terminal building of the Clark International Airport.
International airports in Davao, General Santos, Zamboanga, Iloilo, Kalibo and Laoag are also undergoing improvements.