October 15, 2011
By Genivi Factao
Albay Gov. Joey Salceda announced development of the Southern Luzon International Airport (New Legaspi Airport) in Daraga, Albay is in full swing and is finding investors for the redevelopment of the old Legazpi airport when the new airport opens in 2014.
"We are just waiting for the bidding of the terminal of Daraga airport. The needed investment for the project is about P3.4 billion. The Legazpi airport is up for redevelopment; we will make it an integrated development like Singapore’s Sentosa," Salceda said at the sidelines of the Orgullo Kan Bikol held at Megatrade Hall of SM Megamall held recently.
Salceda said the Bicol region, particularly the twin airports of Naga and Legaspi has been growing in double digits as it slowly become one of the top tourist destination in the country.
International tourists to Albay in the first quarter numbered 54,000, up 51 percent from last year. This year, the province expects foreign tourists to hit 150,000.
The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is studying a proposal to bundle the privatization of the old Legazpi airport with the SLIA terminal construction.
Salceda said the airport is on the priority list of private-public partnership projects. The private sector is being enticed to develop the old Legazpi airport into something like Sentosa that can be linked to Ligñon Hill development.
Earlier, DOTC Secretary Mar Roxas said the terminal component of the project will be funded by ODA loans and funds coming from the GAA.