CAAP eyes Iloilo airport expansion this year

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines expects to start within this year the P311-million expansion and improvement of the Iloilo International Airport.

The proposal had been approved by the National Economic and Development Authority’s Regional Development Council (RDC-6) in 2011.

Iloilo airport manager Efren Nagrama stressed the need to improve facilities amid the growing number of airlines, passengers and cargo, Western Visayas news site The Daily Guardian reported.

Nagrama added the plan had been mapped out even before Iloilo bid to host events of the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in 2015, which the Philippines will host.

Under the plan, a budget of P164.4 million has been proposed for passenger terminal building, P100 million for airport apron and P46.21 million for cargo terminal building.

Citing CAAP-Iloilo data, the report said aircraft, passenger and cargo movements have exceeded the airport’s capacities.

The terminal building was designed to handle 1.6 million passengers annually, but there were 1.7 million passengers in 2011 and 1.86 million in 2012.

The airport’s cargo building was built to carry 12,000 tons per year, but there were 12,364 tons of cargo in 2012.

Even more passengers and cargo may soon have to be handled by the airport, with the launch of international flights between Iloilo and Hong Kong and Singapore late last year. — BM, GMA News

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