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President Rodrigo Duterte (center) led the unveiling of the Bohol-Panglao International Airport marker on November 27, 2018. With him were (L to R) Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines Director General Captain Jim Sydiongco. ALFRED FRIAS/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Duterte led the inauguration of the P8.9-billion Bohol-Panglao International Airport (BPIA) on November 27.

“This modern airport will serve local and international tourists who would like to experience the beauty of Panglao. It will also address the problem of our growing traffic congestion and accelerate economic activities in the region,” Duterte said in a speech during the inauguration rites.

Dubbed as the “Green Gateway to the World,” the Panglao airport is expected to serve as an alternate gateway to Central Visayas. It was built in cooperation with the Government of Japan and funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

The facility sits on a 220-hectare site in Panglao Island, 10 times bigger than the old Tagbilaran Airport’s 22-hectare land area. The new facility can accommodate two million passengers annually, more than double the capacity of the old Tagbilaran Airport. It can accommodate four large jets such as Boeing 777s and Airbus 330s, or seven small jets like Airbus 321s or 200s.

The first eco-airport in the country, the airport features green and sustainable structures, such as solar panels and motion sensor lighting, among others. It is designed with an undulating roof inspired by the world-famous Chocolate Hills and waves from the beaches in Panglao.

With the opening of the BPIA, the old Tagbilaran Airport has been closed for later development as a business park.

The airport’s construction began under the previous administration in 2015.

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