PHOTO CAPTION: The revamped Kalibo International Airport (KIA) is expected to push Kalibo to greater economic heights and afford it more prestige in the international tourism market./iNEWS
KALIBO, Aklan–More than P48-million worth of development projects for Kalibo International Airport (KIA) were inaugurated by the Department of Transportation (DoTR) and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) on June 4, 2021.
The development projects will elevate KIA’s stature as a prime gateway for international tourists and accelerate the socio-economic potentials of the province of Aklan.
The projects completed in September 2020 include the P18.9 million overall repair and restoration of the Passenger Terminal Building, Aerodome Rescue and Firefighting shed, and administrative building, the P9.9 million reblocking of 4,027 square meters of apron pavement, and the P19.5 million expansion and improvement of the international terminal building.
DoTR Secretary Arturo Tugade and CAAP Director General Jim Sydiongco unveiled the airport marker along with Aklan Governor Florencio Miraflores, Kalibo Mayor Emerson Lachica, and Aklan 2nd District Rep. Teodorico Haresco, Jr.
“The development of the Kalibo International Airport started in earnest. What you see now is the manifestation of the commitment of Secretary Tugade and the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte to really put Kalibo on the map of the country, as the prime gateway for Boracay and the tourism industry of Aklan,” Miraflores said.
Tugade pointed out the development projects of the newly-improved airport will spur tourism and trade activities in Western Visayas, and are testaments to the capabilities of the government agencies to enhance mobility and connectivity of regional airports.
The government is committed to supporting and is more determined to pursue the long-overdue upgrade of Kalibo airport as a premier tourism gateway of the country, he said.
“Una, malakas ang loob ko na tapusin itong airport na ‘to. Pangalawa, kasama ko ‘yung buong aviation sector, at kasama ang CAAP, kami po ay naniniwala na malaki ang maitutulong nng proyektong ito, hindi lang sa larangan ng turismo, kundi sa paglago ng ekonomiya dito sa lugar ng Kalibo, Aklan [First of all, I was bold enough to finish this airport. Second, with the aviation sector and CAAP as my partners, we believe this project will make a huge contribution not only to tourism but also to the flourishment of the economy here in Kalibo, Aklan],” Tugade said.
“The thrusts of developing the airports are underway to uplift the aviation and airports services, and to further ease the congestion of major airports in the country,” he added.
According to Tugade, the refurbished Kalibo airport generated livelihoods for 280 Aklanons during the construction phases of the projects, despite the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.
Sydiongco, for his part, said the projects under the Build, Build, Build infrastructure program of President Rodrigo Duterte improved and expanded the facilities of Kalibo airport.
The passenger terminal building for international passengers was expanded from 1,584 square meters to 2,633 square meters to accommodate nearly 400 passengers.
The pre-screening and airline check-in counters were also expanded from 216 sqm to 468 sqm, and the pre-departure areas for passengers from 324 sqm to 608.40 sqm for enhanced convenience and comfort of passengers.
There are also additional spaces for the Bureau of Immigration and Bureau of Customs and a 126-sqm covered section outside the terminal building for passenger weather protection.
Aside from the airport projects’ inauguration, Tugade awarded to 39 members of the Boracay Ati Tribe Organization (BATO) their student driver’s licenses after they completed the driving course by the Land Transportation Office-Aklan. (Boy Ryan Zabal/iNEWS-Aklan/Boracay Bureau)