Palawan’s new San Vicente Airport is set to open for commercial flights this week.
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines will inaugurate the airport in on Thursday, May 10, spokesman Eric Apolonio told the Philippine News Agency today (Monday, May 7).
The aviation authority said the 62.7-peso airport development project began in 2009, with a goal of providing more flights and routes for passengers travelling to and from Palawan.
The airport was officially opened to light aircraft in June last year, and to Air Juan’s chartered flights in August 2017.
“Last year, SVA was opened to general aviation and charter flights from Air Juan, connecting Puerto Princesa City, San Vicente, Coron–Busuanga, and Caticlan,” Apolonio said.
As of today, commercial airlines were still applying to have flights to SVA, he added.
He also said that one of the edges of the new airport was its strategic location.
“San Vicente, Palawan has been named as the country’s Flagship Tourism Enterprise Zone (TEZ). As a Flagship TEZ, San Vicente is envisioned to be one of the centres of tourism development in the Philippines, which will provide varied and integrated tourism and economic facilities and activities that will attract both domestic and foreign investments, therefore generating employment and other socio-economic developments,” he said.
He added that since San Vicente is in Palawan, “it is also blessed with pristine beaches and is home to the longest white sand beach in the Philippines, comparable to the country’s premier white sand beach destination, Boracay”.
Apolonio said that with Boracay’s temporary closure, San Vicente could be an alternative destination to Boracay.
“SVA will serve as this new destination’s main gateway while also catering to the air transport needs of our country’s first TEZ,” he said.
CAAP Director General Captain Jim Sydiongco is due to attend the inauguration.