THE Department of Transportation (DoTr) said the target launch of the New Bohol (Panglao) Airport has been moved back two months to October after the July completion rate of 92.14% ruled out an August launch.
In a statement on Sunday, the DoTr said the new October launch is still earlier than the original timetable of opening by 2021, which was the goal when construction began in June 2015.
“The 2021 target is just too long,” Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade said in the statement.
The Panglao airport is expected to have a capacity of 2 million passengers a year once it is completed. Aside from being designed to use natural ventilation, one-third of its electricity will also be sourced from solar panels on the roof of its passenger terminal building.
“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,” Mr. Tugade added.
Although the government is expecting the new airport to transform Bohol into the “next Boracay,” an Australia-based aviation think tank, the Center for Asia-Pacific Aviation, said in July that it may take more time before Panglao gets to “ramp up and attract flights.”
“Potential investors in the Bohol International Airport and other new international airport projects may be wary that the ambitious traffic projections may not materialize,” CAPA said in a report. — Denise A. Valdez