28 November 2018, PANGLAO, BOHOL – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) officially inaugurated the Bohol-Panglao International Airport (BPIA), the Philippines’ first “eco-airport,” yesterday, 27 November 2018.
Hailed as the “Green Gateway to the World,” the new airport functions on environmentally sustainable structures and green technology to the highest international standards.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte led the inauguration of the airport, accompanied by Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines His Excellency Koji Haneda, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Director General Captain Jim Sydiongco, and officials from the public and private sector.
“This modern airport will serve local and international tourists who would like to experience the beauty of Panglao. It will also address the problem of our growing traffic congestion, and accelerate economic activities in the region. Be assured of this government’s full support, as you make Bohol more accessible to the world through this new airport,” President Duterte said.
Located on Panglao Island in the province of Bohol, the new airport can accommodate as many as two million passengers annually, more than double the 800,000 yearly capacity of the Tagbilaran airport.
The BPIA immediately commenced operations today, replacing Tagbilaran Airport, which officially closed yesterday, 27 November 2018, at 6:00 pm.
As the country’s first “eco-airport,” the BPIA primarily utilizes natural ventilation. It also harnesses solar energy from panels installed on the roof of the Passenger Terminal Building (PTB), which will cover around 30% of the airport’s electrical requirements including the hot water supply system.
Meanwhile, surrounding the airport is a landscape of 1,700 trees, 240,000 pieces of shrubs and ground cover, and 11 hectares of sodding, designed to reduce carbon dioxide emission in the airport.
The airport also utilizes environment-friendly equipment and facilities such as light emitting diode (LED) lights, rainwater catchment pond, materials recovery facility, soaking yard, energy-saving air conditioning systems, management system for hazardous waste, and a sewage treatment plant for reuse or return to environment of waste water.
Further, 624,100 seedlings are being planted on Bohol Island to compensate for the trees cut within the airport site. This converts to 100 planted trees for every indigenous tree cut during construction.
“Nagbigay ho ang pamahalaang Duterte ng isang regalo sa mga Boholanos, isang regalo sa sambayanan. Ang hiling ho namin, ang hiling ho ng ating Pangulo: gamitin itong regalong ito at pangalagaan natin,” Secretary Tugade said.
Progress for the completion of the BPIA went on for 18 years, starting with its first Feasibility Study in 2000. Originally targeted for completion in 2021, construction began in June 2015 but the process accumulated up to 48% of slippage due to delays.
Secretary Tugade then placed BPIA’s construction under 24/7 operations to ensure the airport is completely finished ahead of schedule.
“Madami hong duda, madami hong alinlangan. Apat na gobernador na ang lumipas, dalawang groundbreaking na ho ang nangyari, walang nangyari sa Panglao Airport. Today, Mr. President, after 1 year and 8 months, we are all gathered here to celebrate and inaugurate the opening of the Bohol-Panglao International Airport,” Secretary Tugade said.