Bohol’s positioning as a prime tourist destination is boosted with the operation of the new Bohol Panglao International Airport (BPIA) which was inaugurated by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte last Tuesday.
The modern airport where seven planes can be at the tarmac at one given time is expected to accommodate no less than 2 million passengers within the next 12 months.
Sprawling on a 205 hectare lot, the PBIA is dubbed as the country’s first “eco-airport” designed as a “green gateway to the world” having a component on sustainable environmental protection.
Japan Airport Consultants (JAC) assured that the P9 billion airport will be ready for a sunrise-to-sunset operation with day flights of international standard.
In six months or earlier, the modern airport’s operation will be expanded to a 24/7 operation.
In his brief remarks, Pres. Duterte during last Tuesday’s inauguration said the airport is one of the best new airports in the country which can boast of its “ecological” highlights.
Some 500 guests at the terminal building waited the President’s arrival for seven hours after gates were closed at 1 o’clock in the afternoon while the President arrived almost 8 in the evening,”
Due to nightfall, he proceeded first to Rajah Sikatuna camp of the Philippine Army in Carmen town, before he went for the inauguration.
He was met at the tarmac by Japanese Ambassador Koji Haneda, DOTr Sec. Arthur Tugade and Civil Aviation Authority of the Phil.(CAAP) Director General, Captain Jim Sydiongco.
NEDA Sec. Ernesto Pernia, DOT Sec. Brenda Puyat, DENR Sec. Rey Cimatu and DPWH Sec. Mike Villar were on hand as part of his entourage, together with Presidential Assistant for Visayas, Sec. Mike Dino.
Gov. Edgar Chatto and reinstated Panglao Mayor Nila Montero met the President at the entrance of the terminal building where the guests were seated.
Reps. Rene Relampagos, Aris Aumentado and Art Yap together with other provincial officials were present.
Resigned Cabinet Sec, Leoncio Evasco, Jr. was also on hand to meet the President at BPIA.
Officially to be known as the Bohol Panglao International Airport, it will soon be known as the country’s First Eco-Airport. People may ask what makes it so; hence, let us break it down.
The eco-airport concept has been incorporated into its overall design and architecture. In all buildings, streets, access road and parking areas, the lights being used are LED lamps, which are up to 80% more efficient than traditional lighting.
In the Passenger Terminal Building (PTB), about 30 % of the power requirements during day time are provided by solar energy panels. The use of solar energy is also integrated in the hot water supply system for the Administrative Building.
Inside the PTB, the following features are energy saving in the use of the air condition system and natural ventilation for short dwelling-time areas (arrival & check-in lobby); and the installation of wooden louvers and low emissivity coating curtain wall glazing (glass) in the PTB and gangway.
Outside, approximately 1,700 trees, shrubs and 11 hectares of sodding for its landscaping will be done to regulate carbon dioxide and implementation of biodiversity reforestation where 624,100 seedlings will be planted in Bohol island to compensate the cut trees within the project site.
The airport also has a waste water treatment facility and rain water catchment pond for PTB – water collection and storage system in order to reduce the load on drainage system and the collected rain water would be used for watering the plants and cleaning.
For years, the small baggage carousel at the Tagbilaran City airport has been the source of jokes and “believe it or not” stories for being one of the tiniest of its kind hereabout.
Now, that would be a thing of the past as the new Bohol Panglao airport has two standard-size airport carousels. Bags are placed on the conveyor belt in a secure area not accessible by passengers and circulated around for the passengers to claim. Nearby, several brand-new German-made baggage carts are provided for the ease and convenience of passenger in carrying their luggage.