DOTr completes 120 airport projects since 2016

Aviation Updates Philippines – The Philippines' Department of Transportation (DOTr), led by Secretary Arthur P. Tugade, proudly announced the completion of more than a hundred airport development projects in the country since the administration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte sat down in 2016.
FILE PHOTO. The construction phase of the Bohol-Panglao International Airport prior to its inauguration. Photo from the Philippine Information Agency.
In a Facebook post, the DOTr's airports and aviation sector posted a completion list, which included a whopping 120 airport rehabilitation and development programs in just four years. The Tugade-led department has fast-tracked more airport projects that any other administration.

"Since the assumption of the Duterte administration in July 2016, the Department of Transportation (DOTr), under the strong-willed and resolute leadership of Secretary Arthur Tugade, has been relentlessly pursuing the completion of projects and initiatives in all of its transportation sectors, with the end view of making the lives of Filipinos more comfortable," the DOTr said.

One of the most significant developments that the DOTr accomplished is the activation of long-due Communications, Navigation, Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM), which was delayed for almost ten years. The air navigation system has been fully operational since July 2019 to enhance safety and security in the airspace.

The state-of-the-art CNS/ATM becomes the country's most significant innovation in the air traffic control system as it covers 100 percent of the Philippine airspace. Additionally, the development included the procurement of 10 additional radars, which are now installed across the archipelago from the original three radars functional before.

Other notable feats of the DOTr also include the recent expansion and rehabilitation of the Sangley Point Airport in a year. On Saturday, the president, together with transportation and local government officials, inaugurated the former airbase, now eyed to be an alternative to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

In November 2018, the department inaugurated the Bohol-Panglao International Airport—a project that had a feasibility study in 2000 but only had started the construction under the Aquino administration in 2015. Tugade fast-tracked the Bohol airport completion in 2018 from the original target of 2021.

The Mactan-Cebu International Airport's highly-acclaimed Terminal 2 was delayed for 11 months in 2016 but was still inaugurated in 2017. The terminal received various international awards in infrastructure and architecture since it started operations; just recently, MCIA won the top prize during the World Architecture Awards in The Netherlands.

Another completed brand-new airport is the Cagayan North International Airport located in Lal-o, Cagayan province. It was inaugurated in 2018 with commercial domestic and international flights starting the same year. The DOTr said the airport's runway had been upgraded already to serve larger aircraft.

New passenger terminal buildings were also built for the Puerto Princesa International Airport, San Vicente Airport, and Tacloban Airport, which were all completed between 2017 and 2018. On the other hand, Ormoc Airport, after Typhoon Haiyan ravaged the city in 2013, had completed the rehabilitation program in July 2019.

There were also crucial developments to several domestic terminals in Camiguin, Virac, Tuguegarao, Catarman, Laoag, Maasin, Lubang, Camiguin, Romblon, Masbate, Busuanga, Bukidnon, Surigao, Siargao, Antique, Cauayan, among others.

Meanwhile, significant improvements for the Bicol International Airport, Davao International Airport, Clark International Airport, Kalibo International Airport, Bukidnon Airport, Surigao Airport, and General Santos International Airport are currently undergoing or underway.

"These are the various initiatives of DOTr in the Aviation sector, which are [a] testament to our steadfast commitment to [delivering] our mandate in vastly improving mobility and connectivity across regions," the department said.

With two more years to come, the transportation department still has more airport projects in the pipeline. Aside from the government-initiated projects, there are also pending big-ticket projects planned to be undertaken by private companies such as the rehabilitation of NAIA, the construction of the New Bulacan International Airport, and the further development of the Sangley Point International Airport.