THE Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines - Davao Region (Caap-Davao) plans to increase the number of airport trolleys at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport also known as Davao International Airport (DIA). This move coincides with the ongoing renovations at the airport, which are nearing completion.
Currently, there are 110 trolleys available at the airport.
However, with the growing trend of "revenge travel" and peak arrival hours seeing 500 to 600 passengers daily, the existing number of trolleys falls short.
Caap-Davao area manager Rex Obcena assured Caap's central office and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) are fully aware of the situation and are actively working to find a solution.
Obcena explained, "Karon we are experiencing sa atong peak hours nato for arrivals, naa tay 500 to 600 a day, and 110 [trolleys] spread out pa na sa departure and arrivals both international and domestic, so dili jud kaya [ang trolley capacity (Right now, we are experiencing our peak hours for arrivals, with 500 to 600 passengers a day, and we only have 110 trolleys spread out in both international and domestic departure and arrivals areas. Our current trolley capacity cannot handle the demand)."
The procurement for additional trolleys was initially planned for 2019 but was delayed due to centralized procurement processes.
Bulk purchasing was considered more cost-effective than individual airport trolley purchases. Unfortunately, the procurement did not proceed, and the budget was reallocated in 2020 due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act (Republic Act Number 11469).
Obcena said that Caap-Davao has submitted a proposal for the 2024 budget, which they hope will be approved. While the exact amount is unknown, they anticipate procuring around 200 or more trolleys.
"Mahal ang airport trolleys, I think sa market nato karon naa sa P30,000 to P35,000 each so medyo may kamahalan jud siya then depende kung asa ang country of source nimo (Airport trolleys are expensive, I think they are priced at P30,000 to P35,000 each if you buy them, so it's quite costly. It also depends on the country where you source it from)," he said.
Apart from procuring airport trolleys, Caap-Davao is actively involved in airport renovations, which are in their final stages.
However, some remaining improvements include enhancing sidewalks and addressing flooding issues during heavy rains.
To accommodate the increasing number of passengers and improve the check-in area, a canopy outside the airport will be constructed to provide additional sheltered areas.
Regarding the expansion of the Davao airport, Obcena expressed optimism about the P700 million project's progress, with the central office in Manila currently managing the procurement process.
Despite the contractor for the renovations facing liquidated damages due to project delays, Obcena hopes the expansion will move forward in the coming months.
"I was informed na naa lay gina-iron out na mga issues and concerns, but again, we are hopeful they will be able to sort things out para marealize na nato tong construction sa bagong terminal building (I was informed that they are addressing the issues and concerns, but again, we are hopeful they will be able to resolve things so that we can see the construction of the new terminal building)," Obcena said. ICE