The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) announced on Monday the opening of the P44.3 million Kalibo International Airport, which was closed down for repairs and renovation to accommodate more passengers, a top official said.
DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said a new wing was added to the airport, which will be fully operational on March 31, to accommodate an additional 800 passengers at any given time.
“We’re happy to open Kalibo International Airport’s new wing as we enter the summer season. As always, we expect a high volume of visitors to Boracay in the next couple of months, so the new section will help meet this peak period demand,” Abaya said.
The Kalibo airport is the main access to the white sand beaches of the world-famous Boracay Island. Tourists from around the world flock to the island during summer months.
At least 10 new check-in counters have been added to accommodate more passengers. All domestic flights have been transferred to the new wing of the terminal.
Abaya also announced opening of regular evening flights at Laguindingan Airport in Cagayan de Oro City known as the gateway to northern Mindanao.
He said evening flights opened last March 12 when Cebu Pacific Air operated round-trips from Cagayan de Oro to Cebu and Davao and regular night trips are now offered to and from Manila.
Abaya said terminal expansion were on the pipeline for Davao, Bacolod, Iloilo, and the P3.36 billion New Bohol Airport, which has been awarded to the Japanese joint venture of Chiyoda Corp and Mitsubishi Corp.
“Another world-class airport will soon rise on the island of Panglao, to cater to the steadily-increasing number of tourists in Bohol. It will be developed as an ‘eco-airport’ or one that features environmentally-sustainable technologies, in line with the province’s eco-tourism branding,” Abaya said.
He said construction would start before the end of summer, and the airport, which was designed to accommodate one million passengers annually, would be completed in 2017.
“In a country filled with tourist hotspots on islands separated by seas, it is vital to develop and modernize our airports not only to better service our passengers, but to also enable economic growth for our people,” Abaya said.
Last year, Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) was opened for full airline operations, and work to rehabilitate NAIA Terminal 1 to give it a new look began.