The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) inaugurated on May 3 the new P4.5-billion terminal of the Puerto Princesa International Airport (PPS).
Located in San Miguel, Puerto Princesa City, the new terminal has a floor area of 13,000 square meters and a seating capacity of 1,500, parking slots for over 200 cars, a 2,600-meter runway that can accommodate bigger aircraft like the Airbus A330, and six parking bays.
It boasts a state-of-the-art air navigation system (instrument landing system/distance measuring equipment, automated weather observing system, Doppler Very High Frequency/DME) that complies with international standards, and that enhances the airport’s safety operations with a 1800 KVA standby generator set.
In 2014, the then Department of Transportation and Communications awarded the design and build contract for the PPS airport to South Korea’s Kumho Industrial Co. Ltd.-GS Engineering & Construction Joint Venture.
Besides a new passenger terminal building, the project scope also includes the construction of a cargo terminal building, an apron, connecting taxiways, a new air navigation system, and other support facilities.
Currently, an average of 20 flights (20 landings/20 take-offs) operate daily out of the airport involving PAL Express (Manila and Cebu), Cebu Pacific (Manila, Mactan, and Iloilo), Philippine AirAsia (Manila, Cebu, and Davao), Philippine Airlines (Manila, Clark, and Taipei-Taoyuan), and Air Juan (Busuanga and Cuyo).
In 2013, the facility welcomed 1.335 million passengers, way beyond the passenger terminal building’s current estimated capacity of only 350,000 passengers annually.
Once the project is completed, the airport will have an annual capacity of about 2 million passengers.
In a separate statement, Cebu Pacific, which has 550 flights to and from Palawan, said it will begin its flight operations from the new PPS terminal on May 4, expecting the new international airport to boost tourism in Palawan.
In 2016, Cebu Pacific flew the most number of passengers to and from Puerto Princesa, garnering over 50% of the total market share. The airline will be increasing the capacity of its flights to and from Puerto Princesa, upgrading from the 180-seater Airbus A320 to the Airbus A321 NEOs with a 230-seating capacity.