Diking Tacloban Airport

To Transfer or Not. That is the Question

28 April 2017
Tacloban Airport needs a dike to be feasible in the long term, according to senior official of the Transport Department (DOTr).

Transport Secretary Art Tugade disclosed the needs of the airport at the sideline of the press briefing at the International Media Center in Conrad Hotel yesterday.

The senior official said there's a need for the facility to be surrounded by dike to protect the airport infrastructure from future storm surges, similar to the 20 km Tide Embankment Project being developed by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) at Palo, Leyte.

DOTr has approved the feasibility study in 2015 financed by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to determine whether to develop the existing facility further with existing tidal hazard or relocate the airport to higher inland site in Palo, Leyte to protect the airport from future tidal surges brought by typhoons. The study was completed last month.

Secretary Tugade said they will come out with the decision soon when development cost are properly calculated.

Initial results of the feasibility study found the need to reclaim land and dike the facility should decision to stay at the present site is made adding ₱2 billion more to its price tag with total development cost of around ₱6 billion, almost the same amount spend for its relocation to a much bigger facility. Tacloban airport is 3m(9ft) above sea level with 100 percent of its land hugging the coastline. Its present shoreline protection was shown to be inadequate when a 6-10 meter tidal wave breached its seal wall.

The ₱2.8 billion airport development project was halted by DOTr after Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) struck Tacloban in November 2013 bringing tidal surges that destroyed the airport terminal and facilities which was previously not considered by JICA in the earlier master planning and FS design stage of the airport facility in 1996 and 1997. At that time there was no record and basis for ecological assessment.

The Airport Development Masterplan developed in 1997 comprised the airports of Bacolod, Iloilo, Legaspi and Tacloban to be funded by foreign loans. The three former airports were eventually transferred and built with Legaspi set for completion in 2019, while the present Tacloban airport was adjudged fit for future expansion and development with the finding that the new terminal be set further back for ICAO safety compliance in the future.

Both Legaspi and Tacloban airports however were dropped by the Philippine government for funding through Official Development Assistance (ODA) of Japan in 2008 due to the inability of local government units to relocate affected settlers to other areas despite providing funds for their relocations.

According to JICA in their 2004 reports, Tacloban City Council opposed community resettlement and redevelopment prompting suspension of the project until it was eventually dropped for funding in 2008, ten years after the loan grant was made available by the Japanese government in 1998. Development of these two airports were now funded by DOTr through annual appropriations (GAA) but their development was postponed for several years due to funding shortfall.

The original comprehensive development cost as approved by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) board in 2011 hovered around ₱2.3 billion, all to be funded by GAA.

The ₱760 million proposed terminal (PTB) was however re-designed from single to two-storey terminal after surge of passenger traffic exceeded design capacity of the old plan, and ultimately upgraded to support three bridge facilities in 2013 costing another 200 million. The new two-storey passenger terminal building will have different levels for departure and arrival, according to DOTr.

The new terminal design was again re-modified in 2014 after Yolanda struck Tacloban to be more “storm surge-resilient” delaying further the PTB construction by another three years pending detailed re-engineering works that cost another ₱300 million more for the terminal. Construction was likewise held in abeyance pending result of the FS which determines the fate of Tacloban Airport.

The national government has since spent ₱1.06 billion of the ₱2.1 billion in rehabilitation works which should have went to the construction of the new terminal and support facilities had it not destroyed by typhoon Yolanda.

Project Development cost covered site development and airside infrastructure involving the new taxiway lanes while landside infrastructure covers access road and car park, shore protection, land acquisition for access road, terminal and car park (VPA). Landside component also include building works for passenger terminal building (PTB), cargo terminal building (CTB), new control tower and operations building; including acquisitions of safety vehicles and terminal equipment consisting of air conditioners, baggage conveyors and x-ray machines, CCTVs and navigational aids.

What remains to be completed are the landside components costing ₱1.5 billion, comprising the PTBs, CTB, ATC, Admin, Engineering and ancillary structures, VPA and access road. In the original timeline, the new terminal building and support structures is supposed to be completed on Sept. 30, 2018.

Under the 2017 budget, Tacloban airport will get ₱415 million for the phase 1 construction of the new terminal building.

DOTr Unveils Major Airports Projects

Set For Completion Before 2022

27 April 2017
Major Airport Projects

Airport Operations, Management, and Development 
Under Public Private Partnership Scheme
  • 40b - Davao International Airport
      • Construction of parallel taxiway
      • PTB expansion (65,000 to 125,000 sq.m )
      • CTB expansion (13,000 to 27,000 sq.m)
      • VPA expansion
      • Apron expansion
  • 30b - Iloilo International Airport
      • PTB expansion
  • ₱20b - Bacolod International Airport
      • PTB expansion
  • ₱15b - Laguindingan Airport
      • PTB expansion
  • ₱02b - Bohol International Airport

Other DOTC Airport Projects
  • ₱3b - Tacloban Airport
  • ₱2b - General Santos International Airport
  • ₱1b - Dipolog Airport
  • ₱1b - Sangley Airport 
  • 1b - Naga Airport 

PPS Terminal Opens May 3

26 April 2017

The Transport Department (DOTr) will inaugurate the new Puerto Princesa International Airport Terminal Project on May 3, 2017.

The new $185 million Korean Export Import Bank (KEXIM) funded passenger terminal building (PTB) with ICQ facility was designed to accommodate 1.9 million passengers annually but could handle up to 5 million per annum. It has a floor area of 13,000 square meter as compared to the existing terminal with 2,400 sqm of floor space. Construction started August of 2014.

The airport expansion project costs $102.56 million while its PTB design and build contract, awarded to Korean group Kumho Industrial Co. Ltd.-GS Engineering and Construction joint venture, was worth $82.9 million, according to the Department of Transport (DOTr).

Development cost includes the construction of a new passenger, cargo, ARFF, control tower, admin, engineering and other support buildings, runway and strip upgrade, new apron and taxiways and provision for new navigation facilities designed for eventual expansion the international airport’s capacity with use of heavy aircraft to address growing air traffic consistent with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards on airside infrastructures.

Puerto Princesa International Airport is one of the gateway airports for the Philippines that handled 1,644,003 passengers in 2016. It also handles 1.2 million tourists in 2016.

PAL Opens Bohol Gateway

Flies Seoul Beginning June 22

13 April 2017

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines has open a new gateway out of the country as it introduces first international flight to Seoul, South Korea from Tagbilaran airport.

The route is expected to commence on June 23 and will be serve daily by Airbus A320-200 aircraft. 

Tagbilaran airport will be the airlines fifth gateway after Manila, Cebu, Kalibo and Angeles.

PAL Expands Kalibo Hub

Adds Chengdu and Guangzhou flights

12 April 2017

Philippine Airlines (PAL) has added another destination to China by flying to Chengdu on March 31 and Guangzhou on April 15. The Sichuan City joins Beijing, Hangzhou, Chengdu, Shanghai and Xiamen out of Kalibo airport. 

The airline also flies to Seoul, Busan, and Taipei, as well as regular charters to Khabarovsk in Russia.

Xiamen Adds Jinjiang To Cebu

12 April 2017

Opens Kalibo Hub
Xiamen Airlines has begun its fourth non-stop route between China and the Philippines. On April 10 it introduced twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays) flights on the 1,706-kilometre route between Jinjiang (JJN) and Cebu.

The airline also flies to Xiamen from Cebu. It is the fourth route of Xiamen Airlines in the Philippines after Manila-Xiamen and Manila-Jinjiang. 

Meanwhile, the carrier will launch its third hub with its fifth and six route out of the country when it begins Kalibo flight to Xiamen and Fuzhou beginning May 1 using Boeing 737-800 aircraft. It is also awaiting regulatory clearance to fly two more destinations to China.

PAL Grows Clark

12 April 2017

Opens Cagayan De Oro, Bacolod, and Tagbilaran 

Philippine Airlines will add Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro, and Tagbilaran to its growing domestic network from Clark beginning June 22 using A320 aircraft. 

"We are introducing new domestic routes to allow travelers to reach their desired destinations without the need to transit in Manila" said PAL president Jaime Bautista in a statement.

The airline will receive five brand new DH8-400 Next Gen turboprops, three A321-200s and two B777-300ERs in staggered basis before the end of the year.

The airline currently flies five domestic points from Angeles City to Cebu, Davao, Puerto Princesa, Busuanga and Caticlan.

Kalibo Airport Opens Runway Extension

Apron and Terminal Still A Long Way To Go!

12 April 2017

Kalibo airport runway extension will be operational soon after completing safety inspection and formal turnover to the airport operator, according to the Transportation Department (DOTR).

Construction for the 200 meter runway extension began in 2015 lengthening the runway to 2.5km to comply with international standards after expropriation battles with some land owners ended on positive note. The rest of the acquisition however failed after affected landowners contested offers of the provincial government.

DOTR said some gains has been made on the lands intended for runway strip as well as the Runway Safety Area (RSA) that surrounds the existing runway but the land for the new apron and terminal building remained with private land holders preventing the agency from constructing new facilities at the contested sites.

The implementation of the ₱6 billion Pesos airport development project has been hampered by land compensation dispute aggravated by 154 farmers demand for disturbance pay due to work displacement from the existing rice fields.

CAAP Deputy Director General Manuel Antonio Tamayo said the lengthening of the runway is the first step to the airports upgrade while the rest of the desired land area are being negotiated in court.

Tamayo confirmed that land acquisition problems for Phase I and II of the project intended for the apron, terminal building, parking and other support facilities comprising about 500 hectares are still pending resolution in court as landowners went to court to seek reasonable compensation from the government.

Private lands affected by Kalibo international airport development projects were those situated in Barangay Nalook, Tigayon, Pook and Kaano, in the municipality of Kalibo.