(Eagle News)–The 24/7 construction of the Bicol International Airport will start in July.
In a statement, the Department of Transportation said this was so the government could meet its target completion date of within the year for priority facilities set by Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade.
As it is, the Bicol International Airport completion rate stands at 66.1 percent.
Plans to construct the airport were started in 1996 (pre feasibility study).
The Notice to Proceed was issued in July 2009.
According to the DOTr, construction work for the runway, taxiway, apron and fences were mostly left uncompleted in 2012, and budget was reverted to the national treasury.
In 2016, construction of Landside Facilities (Project 2A) began.
The runway extension and the construction of the Passenger Terminal Building (Project 2B) started in 2017.
As of June 24, Package 2A of the airport development project, which is handled by Sunwest Construction, is already 81% complete, the agency said.
The DOTr said this covers the landside facilities, such as the Administration Building, Air Traffic Control Building, Crash Fire Rescue Building, and the Maintenance Building.
Package 2B, which covers the construction of the Passenger Terminal Building (PTB) and the runway, on the other hand, is 34% complete, with commitment for additional manpower from project contractor, E.M. Cuerpo it would provide additional manpower to finish these priority facilities within the year.
The DOTr said the airport would feature Mayon Volcano as its backdrop.
Once completed, the airport is expected to “strategically boost air traffic and tourist arrivals in Albay province and spur regional growth in the Bicol region, making it an economic powerhouse,” it said.
“It can’t be denied that the aviation sector has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic. That’s why it is important that we finish the airport at the soonest possible time as this will absolutely give the economy a boost,” Tugade said.
“Gusto ko matapos ‘yan within the year dahil gusto na natin itong agad na mapakinabangan ng ating mga kababayan. As we ready for take-off, kung baga, dapat all systems go,” he added.