Iloilo airport expansion proposal up for NEDA review after CAAP approval

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Iloilo airport

THE PROPOSED expansion of the Iloilo International Airport takes a step forward after the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) granted an original proponent status (OPS) to the unsolicited proposal submitted by the Villar Group of real estate magnate Manuel B. Villar, Jr. The proposal will now be forwarded to the National Economic and Development Authority for evaluation and approval before undergoing a Swiss challenge. “It is one step closer to bringing comfort, safety, and convenience to one of the busiest airports in the country,” House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said in a statement last Friday. The airport was built in 2007 under the term of Ms. Arroyo as president. Located in the town of Cabatuan that is about 30 kilometers from Iloilo City, the airport was designed for a capacity of 1.2 million passengers a year. Based on CAAP data, the airport has been handling more than two million passenger annually in recent years with the average growth rate in the past 11 years at 11.35%. “Indeed an expansion is much needed,” Ms. Arroyo said. — Emme Rose S. Santiagudo