By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
Commercial operation of Panglao Island International Airport also known as New Bohol International Airport or Tagbilaran International Airport will be delayed for 2 years and will be operational by 2019 yet instead of late 2017 as the project is undergoing a major revision.
Transportation Undersecretary Roberto Lim told Business Bulletin that the contractor has to consider the newly discovered coral structure in the area where the airport is being built.
“They discovered new corals, so there is a need to do a lot of work,” Lim said.
In addition, the terminal will now be constructed into a two-story building instead of a single-storey under the original plan because of the higher traffic inflow into the island.
According to Lim, the original traffic projection can no longer justify the present number of traffic going to this tourist-destination island thus, the need to amend the original terminal capacity.
The Tagbilaran Airport is currently the eleventh busiest airport in the Philippines, having served 789,800 passengers in 2013 with its limited space of just 850 square meters. The new Bohol Panglao Airport will feature a floor area of approximately 8,800 square meters with an annual passenger capacity of 1.7 million passengers.
Despite the major revision in the plan, Lim said the project cost of the airport will not be affected as there is enough cost allowance for the project which is funded by the official development assistance from Japan International Cooperation Agency.
Of the total P7.2 billion project cost, the Japanese government is extending P4.6 billion, while the additional P2.6 billion will be covered by the Philippine government.
“The guardian angel there is Pernia, who is from Bohol,” he added.