The newly restored Kalibo International Airport in Kalibo, Aklan is ready to greet millions of passengers and tourists following the completion of the gateway’s P48.4 million development project.
Secretary Arthur Tugade of the Department of Transportation and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines director general Captain Jim Sydiongco led local government officials of Aklan during the inauguration of the improved and expanded airport yesterday.
Sydiongco said the development project covered the P19.5 million improvement of the international passenger terminal that was completed in September 2020, P9.9 million re-blocking of the apron pavement finished in August last year, and the P18.9 million overall repair and restoration of the passenger terminal building, aircraft rescue and firefighting, shed and administration building completed only on June 2, 2021.
The international passenger terminal building was expanded, from its previous area of 1,584 square meters (sqm) to 2,633 sqm, increasing the building capacity from 344 to 406 passengers.
It has also additional spaces for the operations of the Bureau of Customs, Bureau of Immigration, pre-screening and check-in, exterior and interior waiting, and queue areas for passengers, he said.
The re-blocking of the apron has eliminated the potential hazard for aircraft parked at the apron, he added.
“The overall repair and restoration of the KIA has improved and restored KIAs look as a whole. In support and cooperation of the Build, Build, Build Program, KIA’s expansion, and rehabilitation was pursued as a manifestation of CAAP and DOTr’s commitment to help the country’s air sector to rise again,” he said during the project brief.
Tugade, in his message, said that they pushed for the improvement of the airport because they believe that it will have an impact not only on the tourism sector but on the province’s economy.
He said they provided jobs to around 280 locals during the rehabilitation. And as they eye more development for the airport, more jobs will be generated.
Since the airport is of an international standard and quality, he added that it will also serve as “connectivity and mobility not only for Philippine archipelago but also in the neighboring countries”.
The project, he said, also turned into reality the marching order of President Rodrigo Duterte to “make Filipino life comfortable and convenient, safe and reasonable in terms of rates and tariff”.*PNA