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Arroyo to inaugurate new Iloilo airport on June 13

June 7, 2007 4:20pm

Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will be inaugurating the P6.187-billion new Iloilo airport on June 13, a government official said on Thursday.

In a telephone interview, Alan Java, airport area manager of the Air Transportation Office, said
the that a day after on June 14, the airport will be opened to passengers, and flights from it will commence.

"There will be regular operation of the airport on June 14 when aircraft from various airline companies will be arriving and departing in this new airport," Java said.

Three local carriers- Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Air Philippines, will initially use the
new airport.

The new 180-hectare new airport will replace the old 54-hectare airport in Mandurriao town, which is currently being bid out by the Finance department.

The opening of the new airport, funded by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, was originally scheduled on April 16 but was deferred when the president could not attend as First Gentleman's Mike Arroyo underwent heart surgery.

The new airport was built to accommodate the rising number of air passengers and air cargo traffic in Iloilo and improve air transportation safety according to international standards. It also seeks to compliment the development of the Visayas region, particularly covering the provinces of Antique, Aklan, Iloilo, Capiz, Guimaras and Negros Occidental.

Meanwhile, Java said the soft launch of the 8.2-billion yen New Bacolod-Silay International Airport in Silay City, Negros Occidental has been deferred from its original date of June 13.

He said the Silay airport is set to be completed in September. - GMANews.TV