Historic test flight to new Bohol airport a success; Completion set by June 2018

Just six months away from completion, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade, National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Ernesto Pernia, and Cabinet Secretary Jun Evasco successfully conducted the first test flight in the fully-paved runway of the New Bohol Airport in Panglao last 06 November 2017.

Currently, 1,800 meters, out of the total 2,500 meters, of the runway has already been fully-paved. An additional 300 meters will be added to extend the runway to 2,800 meters after the roll out operations of the airport. The runway was engineered to accommodate seven aircraft at a time, including large aircraft  for international flights.

Fast-tracking construction

Upon the directive of Secretary Tugade, construction for the airport followed a 24/7 schedule. From the time the new administration took over in July 2016, completion of the airport is now at 53.38 percent, a huge jump from the 6.48 percent completion recorded from 22 June 2015 to 30 June 2016.

The New Bohol (Panglao) airport is on track for completion by June 2018 and will start commercial operations by August.

The project was first undertaken by the Provincial Government of Bohol in 1996. The feasibility study, land acquisition activities, and detailed engineering design were completed by 2007. However, the bidding failed in 2010 due to lack of funding. It was only then that the national government decided to implement the project under Public Private Partnership (PPP). It began construction in 2015 under the Japanese Airport Consultants (JAC) and Chiyoda-Mitsubishi Joint Venture (CMJV).

First eco-airport

The P7.8-billion project, with a terminal spanning 13,337 square meters, will serve as the premiere gateway to the province and the island paradise of Panglao, a thriving tourist destination. It was designed to be the country’s first eco-airport and “Green Gateway to the World,” which will be held to the highest standards of green and sustainable structures.

The airport will primarily use natural sunlight and air. However, areas, where people stay for a longer period of time such as pre-departure sections, control rooms, and offices, will be air-conditioned. Solar panels will also be installed on the Passenger Terminal Building roof, which can cover around one-third of the airport’s energy requirement. For additional energy efficiency, all internal lighting fixtures will use LEDs and most lighting switches will be equipped with motion detector control.

The New Bohol (Panglao) Airport is expected to accommodate 2 million passengers in its opening year alone, a huge jump from the 800,000 passengers currently being accommodated by the Tagbilaran airport. The project is financed via Official Development Assistance by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). (DOTr)

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