MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said the New Bohol (Panglao) Airport in the island of Panglao is on track for its inauguration in October this year.
The New Bohol Airport is set to become the country's first international eco-airport, with solar panels expected to power up 1/3 of the airport's Passenger Terminal Building. The airport, dubbed as the "Green Gateway to the World," will also use natural ventilation.
"Everyone should be excited about Panglao airport. I am very excited. This is the kind of airport that we should be building, an airport that has regard for the environment and the future generations," Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said in a statement on Sunday, August 26.
The DOTr said that as of July 31, the New Bohol Airport is already 92.14% complete. Tugade recently led airport officials in inspecting the construction of the airport.
Rappler earlier reported that the new airport will rise by 2018. On Saturday, the DOTr said that when the Duterte administration came in, the New Bohol Airport was "originally targetted" to be completed in 2021.
But the agency said that since the beginning of construction in June 2015, it accumulated up to 48% of slippage due to delays. Starting July 2016, Tugade said he ordered 24/7 construction to fast-track the process.
"We needed a catch-up plan for the Panglao airport. The 2021 target is just too long. How can you explain to the people that it took you 6 years to build an airport? Kinailangan po nating habulin, at iyon po ang ginawa natin (We needed to catch up, and that's what we did)," he said.
Once completed, the New Bohol Airport will have a total area of 13,884 square meters, 3 boarding bridges, a baggage handling system, and an apron that can accommodate 7 aircraft at a time.
The New Bohol Airport is designed to serve up to two million passengers, more than double the capacity of the Tagbilaran airport, for both local and international flights. – Rappler.com