THE NEW Bohol-Panglao International Airport is scheduled to be inaugurated Tuesday, Nov. 27, opening a gateway for up to two million travelers annually.
The Department of Transportation (DoTr) and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), in a joint statement on Monday, said the P8.9-billion airport will be the Philippines’ first “eco-airport,” as it is designed to use natural ventilation and draw one-third of its power source from solar panels.
“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,” it said.
The new airport, located on the island of Panglao, occupies a 220-hectare land and is expected to accommodate two million passengers annually.
The DoTr said it will be an alternative to the existing Tagbilaran Airport on the Bohol mainland, which stands on a 22-hectare site and has a capacity of 400 passengers.
In October, the Philippine and Japanese governments signed a P2.1-billion supplemental loan agreement for the Panglao Airport through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), payable over a 40-year period.
Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said then that the additional loan will be used for the extension of the airport’s runway from 2,000 meters to 2,500 meters, and the expansion of the passenger terminal building from 8,500 square meters (sq.m.) to 13,000 sq.m.
For the operations, maintenance and future expansion of the airport, Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc. (AIC) submitted an unsolicited proposal to the DoTr and received original proponent status in September.
As an unsolicited proposal, it will need to get approval from the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and go through a Swiss challenge, in which other firms are invited to submit counter-proposals that the original proponent may match. — Denise A. Valdez