Leonardia pushes for airport expansion anew

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Monday, September 1, 2014


BACOLOD City Rep. Evelio Leonardia has asked anew the Department of Transportation and Communications to act on the proposed expansion of the Bacolod-Silay Airport.

“While we have started preparing our tourism facilities and roads, we also need to upgrade our gateways to prepare Bacolod and the rest of Negros Occidental for the tourism boom expected in 2016,” Leonardia told Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya in a letter.

Aside from reiterating his call to expand the Bacolod-Silay Airport, the lawmaker also pushed for the reopening of the old Bacolod airport to prepare for the upsurge in tourism traffic in the next few years.

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“Already we are feeling the need for a longer runway, a bigger terminal and perhaps another airport to meet the needs of Bacolod, especially in times when flights are scheduled close to each other,” Leonardia said.

Since last year, Leonardia has been lobbying to improve the gateway to the province by undertaking three projects.

First, the extension of the existing runway of the Bacolod-Silay International Airport by 500 meters to allow for big-bodied planes flying international destinations to land there.

Second, the expansion of the existing terminal in the said airport, which now gets congested especially when the four airlines that use it have flights similarly timed.

Third, the reopening the old Bacolod airport in Singcang.

“We need these in preparation for the 2016 – when we expect 10 million foreign and 56 million domestic tourists – to come to the Philippines so we can also get our fair share of this traffic and the tourism dollars they will bring,” Leonardia added.

“Since we are already preparing other tourism-related needs, like better highways, upgrading our gateways should be logically part of this preparation,” the legislator said.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on September 01, 2014.

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