Bicol International Airport to open this year

An architect’s view of the Bicol International Airport.

The Bicol International Airport (BIA) also known as the Southern Luzon International Airport is set to be completed by July this year and will become operational as construction of remaining works to finish it is in full swing, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) announced recently.

“After 11 years of delay, what is dubbed as the most scenic gateway in the country, the Bicol International Airport (BIA) in Daraga, Albay, will be completed soon,” the DOTr said. Works on the BIA resumed last year after being put on hold for over a decade, the transportation department said.

Currently, construction of the passenger terminal and other land-side facilities are on-going and expected to be completed in July 2020. Works on the runway, taxiway apron and perimeter fence were already completed in previous years.

The BIA once operational is expected to accommodate 2 million passengers annually with its new and higher capacity facilities and enhanced safety of airport operation.

The national government has invested P2.1 billion or $47 million on preparatory works and land acquisition for the new airport development from 2007 to 2012. Additional funding was provided by the budget department in succeeding years. The total cost of the BIA until its completion is estimated at P 4.7 billion or $105 million.

The DOTr said the new international airport will give an added boost to tourism in the Bicol region and further improve the economic development of the region.

Albay province where the BIA is located is home to world famous Mount Mayon. Other popular tourist destinations in the region include: Butanding in Donsol, Sorsogon; and Caramoan and Camarines Sur Water Sports Complex in Camarines Sur. (EdYu)