President Rodrigo Duterte led the inspection of airport and seaport development projects in General Santos on November 22
General Santos Airport’s expanded passenger terminal building can now accommodate two million passengers annually from the previous 800,000
The expanded General Santos port can host at least 1,300 large ships every year
President Rodrigo Duterte on November 22 inspected the expanded airport and seaport of General Santos, projects that were inaugurated in September.
The General Santos Airport project included expansion of the passenger terminal building, which can now accommodate two million passengers annually from its previous 800,000 passengers.
Navigational aids were installed to help guide aircraft landing and takeoff. A new Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) administration building was also inaugurated.
Once developments are complete, General Santos Airport will be the first airport in Mindanao to have cutting-edge and innovative contactless features similar to those found at Clark International Airport in Pampanga, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) in a statement.
During the inspection, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade announced Philippine Airlines will start international operations in General Santos Airport to and from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia on December 9, 2021.
Considered as a key gateway to Mindanao, General Santos Airport serves the provinces of South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, and General Santos (SOCCSKSARGEN).
The General Santos port, commonly known as Makar Wharf, meanwhile, was upgraded and expanded and a new port operations complex built. The port can now accommodate at least 1,300 large ships every year.
The facility is composed of a port operations building that houses the port integrated clearance office, a one-stop shop for all Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) transactions like marine and terminal services, berthing, public assistance and complaints, and assessment and collection services, among others.
The complex also boasts a multifunction sports facility to promote work-life balance among PPA employees and port workers, and provide a venue for meetings and controlled gatherings in compliance with the new normal.
Among products that pass through General Santos port enroute to international markets are tuna and its by-products, pineapples, bananas, and other products coming from SOCCSKSARGEN.
PPA earlier said General Santos port handled 1.700 million metric tons (MMT) as of June 2021, halfway through its annual average of 3.4 MMT of cargoes. In 2020, the port handled 3.438 MMT, 4% below its pre-pandemic level of 3.594 MMT.
General Santos City Mayor Ronnel Rivera said the projects “open a wide array of opportunities, not only as an improvement of our infrastructure facilities, but also an investment opportunity that will generate more economic activities for the city of General Santos, and a multiple expanded growth to the whole nation.”