Thursday, September 19, 2019

Editorial: A busy airport that needs improvement

FRANCISCO Bangoy International Airport (FBIA) accommodated 4.4 million passengers in 2018 making it the third busiest in the country, this according to data from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).

This may be attributed to the increasing interest of businessmen and tourists in Davao City. Additional domestic and foreign routes are also a big help in increasing passenger traffic.

However, it is clear that Davao City’s airport is in dire need of a makeover to make its operation more efficient and welcoming to passengers. Airports serve as among the main gateway to a certain place; making it more welcoming will leave a positive impression to its visitors.

It is welcoming to note that the modernization of FBIA is on track. Manuel Jamonir, Udenna Infrastructure Corporation assistant vice president for operations engineer, said they are waiting for National Economic and Development Authority’s (Neda) approval for negotiation, the result of which is expected in July.

Udenna Infrastructure Corporation will be pouring in P48.8 billion for the unsolicited airport project.

Among the proposed development are Air Transport Movement (ATM) which is currently at nine ATMs per hour, proposed to be at 35 ATMs per hour; the current 24,780 square-meter passenger terminal building to become 64,800 square meters; four departure gates to become 11; peak-hour passenger capacity of 1,552 to become 4,799; and car parking area of 17,460 square meters to become 29,500 square meters.

With an improved airport, Davao City will be able to cater to more flights and travelers going in and out of the city.

This will likewise spur economic growth in Davao City and its neighboring cities.

However, there must be some ways that the government can hopefully hasten the development of FBIA. For sure some airlines are looking at creating routes between Davao City and another destination. But they cannot immediately do it because of the airport’s current state.

With an improve airport, more opportunities will open for Davao City and the Dabawenyos.


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