MANILA, Philippines – The Bohol-Panglao International Airport, dubbed the country’s first “eco-friendly” airport, will start operations on Wednesday, November 28.
President Rodrigo Duterte led the inauguration of the new airport on Tuesday, November 27, with transportation, tourism, and provincial officials.
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines said the new airport is a “total upgrade” from the nearby Tagbilaran Airport, which used to be the gateway to Bohol. The Tagbilaran Airport will now be closed.
The new airport is built on a 220-hectare site in Panglao Island, which is 10 times bigger than the Tagbilaran Airport. It can accommodate up to 650 passengers during peak hours, up from Tagbilaran’s 400-passenger capacity, and up to two million passengers yearly.
The new airport is also “night-rated,” allowing flights during the evening – a feature that the Tagbilaran Airport does not have.
Starting Wednesday, all flights from the Tagbilaran Airport will be transferred to the new airport.
The construction of the P8.91-billion Bohol-Panglao International Airport was funded through official development assistance from the Japanese government, with support from the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
Construction of the airport began in 2015 during the Aquino administration. By the time the Duterte administration took over, the project was 48% delayed, according to the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
The project was then fast-tracked for completion in 2018, ahead of the original target of 2021.
Dubbed the “Green Gateway to the World,” the Bohol-Panglao International Airport boasts solar technology for its hot water supply system, which could prevent as much as 18 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.
It also adopted a rainwater catchment system to reduce the load on the drainage system. All collected rainwater will be used for domestic purposes.
The DOTr also said that the new airport’s landscape includes around 1,700 trees, thousands of shrubs, and 11 hectares of sodding or grass.
To compensate for the trees cut to build the airport, some 624,100 seedlings are being planted to boost greenery in the area. – Rappler.com