When completed in August, Panglao Bohol Airport will have a faster, safer and more efficient refueling system.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) through Panglao Airport Project (PBAP) Manager Engr. Edgardo Mangalili told media that in the case of Panglao, a fuel depot and hydrant system allows the airplanes to refuel right on the tarmac, without the risky procedures of bringing in cumbersome fuel tankers which can pump in at limited fuel pressures.
The addition is crucial because a firetruck refueling not only is risky, it also takes time and hampers the movement of aircraft in and out of the tarmac, according to the DOTr.
Not all airports in the country have fuel hydrants incorporated in the designs and even Mactan Cebu International Airport is only starting to build one, Engr Mangalili confided.
The fuel depot and the fuel hydrant system allows pressurized fuel transfer via a fuel hose which would be tapped from the network of pipes leading to hydrants buried in the plane parking, he explained.
The PBAP now sits on 2.5 kilometers of the runway with wider apron provisions compared to the soon to be abandoned Tagbilaran Airport which only has 1.8 kilometers and a single plane capacity parking.
With the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) regulation on one plane on the tarmac policy for Tagbilaran, airline companies have to squeeze through the seven flights a day to Manila and back.
The policy has caused massive delays and escalating costs for airlines as they would need to circle around the airport awaiting their landing queue, while one airplane is still in parking.
The situation also pushed local officials to hasten the completion of the PBAP so that airlines could serve more passengers to tourism island Bohol.
PBAP now has 6 multi-angled passenger boarding bridges which can serve an Airbus 320, an aircraft bigger than the A319 currently serving Tagbilaran Manila routes. Another remote slot is also open to the airport can immediately serve seven aircraft at the same time, according to DOTr.
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Refueling seven aircraft at the same time would be a nightmare if these are carried on by fuel tankers, CAAP officials said.
The airport in Panglao is expected to bring in two million passengers in 2020 and is even expected to increase further in the coming years.
Along with this, Bohol officials led by Gov. Edgar Chatto have asked the Bureau of Immigration to help in processing these much persons especially that Bohol intends to keep its culture and heritage.
There are only about 1.3 million Boholanos, and the governor fears that bringing in more strangers than residents can alter the culture of the people. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)