Tuesday, October 26, 2021
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Bicol International Airport now open to domestic operations

  • The P4.7-billion Bicol International Airport will welcome domestic operations today (October 8)
  • The airport was inaugurated by President Rodrigo Duterte on October 7 International operations are expected to start on November 7
  • Once fully operational, BIA will accommodate a total of 2 million passengers annually

The P4.7-billion Bicol International Airport (BIA) will start domestic operations today (October 8) following its official inauguration on October 7 by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Touted as the country’s “most scenic gateway” with the iconic Mayon Volcano as its backdrop, BIA will be ready for international operations by November 7, subject to the airlines’ application/intent to operate international flights.

The airport is situated in Barangay Alobo, Daraga in Albay.

Once fully operational, BIA is expected to boost air traffic in the region and accommodate a total of 2 million passengers annually.

The airport will offer state-of-the-art contactless features for effortless passenger experience, according to the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

The airport’s passenger terminal building (PTB) sits on an area of 18,417 square meters (sqm). It features a 170-meter-by-150-meter apron equipped to handle three aircraft; a seven-floor air traffic control tower; and a 5,982-sqm vehicular parking area with 200 parking slots, among others.

Passengers can check in using common use self-service kiosks available at the PTB.

Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) chief of staff and airport projects team head Danjun Lucas said they have tapped the service provider of Clark International Airport (CRK) “to maximize the same high-technology features as the CRK, which is equipped for contactless baggage handling and food ordering system.”

As of October 3, the overall progress rate of the BIA project was at 92.56%. Almost all of the project’s infrastructure components were also more than 90% complete, with the passenger terminal building 97.28% complete; administration building, 98.93%; air traffic control building, 98.65%; crash fire rescue building, 98.40%; cargo terminal building, 98.59%; power house building, 98.69%; and runway extension, 79.27%.

The BIA project originally started in 1996 (pre-feasibility study), while the notice to proceed was issued in July 2009. Construction works for the runway, taxiway, apron and fences, however, were mostly left uncompleted in 2012, and the budget was reverted to the national treasury.

Construction for Package 2A began in 2016 while Package 2B started in 2017. The project reached 50% completion in 2018.

DOTr said the construction of BIA led to the hiring of 755 workers, with 1,100 more indirect jobs awaiting locals once the airport becomes operational.

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