The Department of Transportation is accelerating the construction of the Bicol International Airport to meet its target completion date within the year.
Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade said the continuous development of transport infrastructure is vital during this time, as the country starts recovering from the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
“It can’t be denied that the aviation sector has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic. That’s why it is important that we finish the airport at the soonest possible time as this will absolutely give the economy a boost,” Tugade said.
Although the construction of the airport development project at present is in full swing, construction work will be done 24/7 starting this July.
The Bicol International Airport originally started in 1996 (pre feasibility study), while the Notice to Proceed was issued in July 2009.
Meanwhile, construction works for the runway, taxiway, apron and fences were mostly left uncompleted in 2012, and budget was reverted to the national treasury.
It was only when the Duterte Administration came in 2016 that the construction of Landside Facilities (Project 2A) began. Runway Extension and the construction of the Passenger Terminal Building (Project 2B) commenced in 2017.
As of 24 June 2020, Package 2A of the airport development project, which is handled by Sunwest Construction, is already 81 percent complete. This covers the landside facilities, such as the Administration Building, Air Traffic Control Building, Crash Fire Rescue Building, and the Maintenance Building.
Meanwhile, Package 2B, which covers the construction of the Passenger Terminal Building (PTB) and the runway, is 34 percent complete. Its project contractor, E.M. Cuerpo committed to provide additional manpower to finish said priority facilities within the year.
Overall, the completion rate of the Bicol International Airport now stands at 66.61 percent.
Hailed as the country’s ‘Most Scenic Gateway,’ the BIA features the iconic Mayon Volcano as its magnificent backdrop.
Once completed, the BIA is expected to strategically boost air traffic and tourist arrivals in Albay province and spur regional growth in the Bicol region, making it an economic powerhouse.