DOTC to spend P109.6B to upgrade 49 airports


The Department of Transportation and Communications plans to modernize and upgrade 49 airports at a total cost of P109.63 billion to improve the country’s infrastructure network and support the
tourism industry.

“Our airport progress is obviously to expand and modernize our key international gateways, that is, NAIA [Ninoy Aquino International Airport], Mactan-Cebu, Davao and Clark,” Rene Limcaoco, DOTC undersecretary for planning and infrastructure projects, said during his presentation at the UK Transport Solutions business forum on Thursday.

“We are also modernizing and converting into jet-capable our key secondary airports and key secondary tourism locations such as Puerto Princesa, Bohol, Busuanga, etc.,” he added.

“We want to make sure that our airports are safe and capable also of accommodating A320 jets,” he said.

The DOTC presented a breakdown of the estimated cost for the upgrade of 49 airports across the country, as follows:

• Expansion and modernization of the country’s four key gateways , P53. 47 billion;

• Expansion and improvement of 13 key secondary airports, P48.18 billion;

• Expansion and modernization  of 10 old airports to jet-capable airports, P5.98 billion; and

• Modernization projects in 22 other airports, P2 billion.

“We do recognize that the tourism is a very opportune endeavor for the economy of the Philippines and we are working very closely with the DOT [Department of Tourism] in order to expand tourism,” Limcaoco said.

“Tourism is a low-hanging fruit that will suck up the excess unemployment that the Philippine economy currently has. With the expanded tourism, we expect to see more contribution to Philippine economic growth,” he added.

“The whole program is envisioned and is targeted in order to bring the Philippine aviation sector into the jet age. A lot of our airports were built in the 60s and have been built to accommodate turbo props and, as you know, the costs of operating  a turbo prop is 50 percent higher than jets, which are obstacles to lower fares which is a necessary precursor to an expanded aviation industry,” Limcaoco said.


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