New Iloilo airport dev't project 75% completed

PIA Press Release 2006/07/13

New Iloilo airport dev't project 75% completed

by ES Subong

Cabatuan, Iloilo (13 July) -- Engr. Manuel Lauden, Deputy Project Manager for the New Iloilo Airport Development Project (NIADP) and Engr. Celso de la Cruz, Deputy Project Manager for Phil-Japan Airport Consultants, Inc. said three-fourths of the civil works, building works, utility works and other types of works at the site of the Iloilo Airport of international standards are already undertaken to date.

In an on-site briefing with Deputy Director General Leo Omoso of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), and Mrs Nena S. Magalona, PIA-AMO 6 Operations In-charge, Engr. Lauden said that the new Iloilo airport is comparatively the best and the earliest ever constructed outside of Metro Manila.

Engr. Lauden added that the new airport is the first to have modern, latest technology belonging to Category F as determined by the International Civil Aviation (ICA) Organization. This means the new Iloilo airport is accredited as a qualifier for international standards.

Meanwhile, Engr. De la Cruz said that almost all equipment and facilities are already on hand, some were installed for commissioning before the year ends. These equipment and facilities will be tested starting December, while the buildings are undergoing rigid finishing touches, which takes quite sometime, to ensure quality.

He said work continues without delay, except for constraints like the bad weather condition and some social aspects of operation, the latter, relatively manageable.

The on-site briefing included an ocular view of the facilities and features of the airport complex.

The three-storey passenger terminal, about 12, 000 sq. meter in floor area, houses the baggage conveyor on the first floor, the check in area and the airline offices on the second floor and the pre-departure area on the third, and the arrival area along the corridors that lead to the first floor. The airport apron can accommodate six aircrafts simultaneously parking at a time.

Other features besides the standard civil works and building works are the air navigation systems, that include a radar area which can easily determine the condition of flying aircrafts, including those in distress.

The complex has a six-hectare regulating pond, bigger than the Burnham Park in Baguio, that can hold even a year's continuous downpour, hence, not flood the airport runway. Engr. Lauden said the water passes through a treatment plant, which can augur well for the area to become a livelihood center. The water in the pond will also be pumped out for irrigation purposes.

On the other hand, PIA Deputy Director General Leo Omoso said that it is President Gloria Arroyo's prime concern that the Central Philippines, which includes Western Visayas, become a leading mega region as far as tourism, investments and technology are concerned.

"The new Iloilo airport when it becomes fully operational, is the key to many great opportunities for unprecedented growth in Iloilo," Omoso said. Iloilo Governor Niel Tupas, Sr. said that the construction of the new Iloilo airport will see to the development of an expanded livelihood source other than farming for many people.

Further, Tupas said, it will greatly promote tourism and investments, and also bring about social benefits and uplift the dignity and pride of the Ilonggos for the prestige the Iloilo airport of international standards will bring.

The implementation of the NIADP is spearheaded by the Department of Transportation and Communication, whose strategy of developing the Iloilo Airport has become a national development thrust. (PIA 6) - Timeline 2012