Second District Rep. Aris Aumentado is pushing for the development of the Ubay Airport into a commercial domestic airport and a hub for aviation training.
Aumentado in July filed House Bill No. 2112 seeking to expand the airport, which is located in a 54-hectare land owned by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), and gain budget allocation for the project.
According to Aumentado, the project will be funded by the CAAP and a $3-million (roughly P150 million) official development assistance (ODA) fund from South Korea, particularly through the Export-Import Bank of Korea.
“CAAP is hereby authorized to negotiate such ODA from the Export and Import Bank and Economic Development Cooperation Fund of Korea and a possible grant for the feasibility study and detailed dengineering design fromn the Korean International Cooperation Agency,” he said in his bill’s explanatory note.
The Ubay Airport was built by the Americans before World War II in Camambugan, Ubay. It was used during the war. Since then, it has been utilized by light planes.
The last-term congressman who traces his roots to Ubay through his father the late former governor Erico Aumentado sees the airport as among projects that would spur economic growth and boost tourist influx in the municipality and neighboring towns.
Aumentado said that the project will “will balance the economic development” in Bohol, citing that commerce and industry are currently centered in Tagbilaran City and Panglao which are both located in the southwestern segment of the province.
The airport is also seen to draw more visitors to tourist spots in nearby municipalities, including the Anda peninsula.
It could also host aviation schools and serve as training facility to relieve Mactan Cebu International Airport and the Tagbilaran Airport from training flights of aviation students.
As of July 29, 2019, the bill is awaiting approval from the House of Representatives’ committee on transportation. (with RVO)