MANILA – To prove that the construction of the Bicol International Airport (BAI) is on track, Transportation Secretary Art Tugade will land on the gateway’s runway tomorrow morning.
This, following his intention to land on the airport whether it is finished or not, which he expressed following his inspection of the airport on May 13. Tugade said his landing on the airport will serve as a challenge and an encouragement for the gateway’s builders to keep up the pace.
“I will land in Bicol International Airport finished or unfinished in July,” Tugade said during his inspection of the airport last May.
Secretary Tugade will proceed to conduct an inspection of the airport’s facilities shortly after landing.
Tugade assured that the BIA, dubbed as the “country’s most scenic gateway” with the iconic Mayon Volcano for its backdrop, will be operational by before the end of this year.
Once completed, the gateway is expected to boost air traffic in the region and accommodate a total of 2 million passengers annually.
The construction of the P4.798 billion BIA in Barangay Alobo, Daraga in Albay has been certified a priority by the Duterte administration under the “Build Build Build” program.
The international airport started pre-construction works in 2008.
The airport project gained traction when Tugade directed the DOTr’s air sector to fast track the airport’s construction.
Under the direction of Secretary Tugade, the project’s construction was also able to employ 755 workers despite the COVID-19 pandemic, with 1,100 more indirect jobs awaiting locals once the airport becomes operational.
Meanwhile, the two contractors of the airport project have committed to complete all civil works under their respective contracts by 30 August 2021.
As of 28 July 2021, the BIA’s construction accomplishment rate is at 89%. This constitutes Package 2A and Package 2B of the project.
Package 2A is already 96% accomplished and is expected to be fully completed by 30 August 2021, subject to further necessary works after inspection by the DOTr and by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).
Included under Package 2A are the construction of the airport’s air traffic control tower, administration building, crash fire rescue building, and cargo terminal building, among others.
Package 2B, meanwhile, is at 86% completion and is expected to be fully completed by end of August 2021, subject to further necessary works after inspections by the DOTr and CAAP.
Included under Package 2B are the construction of the BIA’s passenger terminal building (PTB) which is now 90.5% complete and is expected to be finished by 31 August 2021. Also included under Package 2B is the extension of the airport’s runway which is now 75% finished and is also expected to be completed by 31 August 2021.
The BIA is also expected to be technically operational for day operations by 7 October 2021, and to be night-rated by 4 November 2021.