The Bohol Panglao International Airport — billed as the country’s first eco-airport — is set to be opened by President Duterte.
Department of Transportation spokeswoman Goddess Hope Libiran said the 8.9 billion peso airport was “99 per cent complete” and would be ready for operations immediately after its inauguration today (Tuesday, November 27).
Construction of the airport started in June 2015, but was plagued by a series of delays. “When we took over in July 2016, construction of the airport had slippage of about 50 per cent and the completion rate was only at 6.48 per cent. Given the slippage, the previous administration pegged its completion for 2021,” Ms Libiran said.
“So now, we are actually three years ahead of schedule,” she added.
Dubbed the “Green Gateway to the World”, the airport has been built using the latest techniques in sustainable construction.
The terminal building will primarily rely on natural ventilation with solar panels placed on the roof. It is anticipated that these will provide about one-third of the building’s energy requirements.
The airport is designed to accommodate two million passengers per year, which is more than double the capacity of Tagbilaran airport.
The passenger terminal building has an area of 13,884 square metres and is equipped with three boarding bridges and a state-of-the-art baggage handling system.
Outside, there is room for up to seven aircraft at any one time, including large aircraft for long-distance international flights.
President Duterte is expected to attended the grand opening.
Environment meeting at eco-airport
Before the ribbon is cut, the airport will be the venue for a meeting between Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, Panglao Mayor Leonila Montero and tourism stakeholders to discuss environmental concerns affecting Panglao.
Puyat said her department had received complaints against tourism establishments that have allegedly been violating green ordinances and laws.
She said: “If you are stakeholders in Panglao, I beg you, please start policing yourselves. Why would you wait for us to tell you to follow the law?”
The Department of Tourism has recently closed down more than 20 establishments in El Nido, Palawan, for environmental violations.
Other resorts, possibly starting with Panglao, are expected to follow.
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