PUERTO PRINCESA CITY – The Puerto Princesa City Airport (PPCA) is undergoing upgrading into a world-class international gateway and the project is 30 percent complete.
Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Undersecretary Julianito Bucayan Jr. told President Aquino during a brief visit that the Puerto Princesa Airport Development Project (PPADP) is under the $82.9-million design-and-build contract awarded to Korea’s Kumho Industrial Co. Ltd.-GS Engineering & Construction Joint Venture financed by the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF).
Bucayan said that the Puerto Princesa Airport Development Project (PPDAP) is intended “to enhance the quality of airport services in Palawan, comply with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) safety standards, expand the Puerto Princesa international airport capacity to addressthe growing air traffic” in the province.
It is designed to accommodate two million passengers per annum with a peak flow of 690 travelers per hour.
Showing President Aquino a slide of the passenger terminal, the DOTC undersecretary informed that of the total project cost of $102.561-million, the construction is $82.9-million or P3.755-billion.
“The passenger traffic in Palawan at its peak is 690 at the most comfortable level, Mr. President, or roughly 15 square meters per person so, if we’re going to compress, it can go much higher,” he said, adding that the capacity of the existing airport is only 200 per 15 square meters.
The main scope of work at the PPDAP involves civil, building, and navigational aid and airfield ground lighting works.
Civil works include the development of new pavement of apron, taxiway, airside roads, access road and car parking lot, and rehabilitation of the existing runway.
Building works, meantime, involve the upgrading of the passenger terminal, cargo terminal, airport tower control (ATC), rescue and fire fighting facility (RFFF) building, administration, maintenance, powerhouse, and temporary facility buildings.
Bucayan said the passenger terminal is 12,999.84 square meters; cargo is 1,213.23 square meters, and administration and operation building has an area of 749.43 square meters.
“The passenger terminal has an almost total area of 13,000 square meters compared to the current existing that only has a 3,000-square meter floor area. This is bigger in terms of floor area by one hectare,” he informed President Aquino.
The ATC, he said, is going to be ICAO compliant since it will have state-of-the-art equipment facilities for air traffic control.
Of the total $102.561-million total project cost, Bucayan updated President Aquino that the Korean government through the EDCF provided $71.6-million that has an interest rate of .1% and payable in 40 years.
The runway of the world-class international airport in the city is 2,600 meters long to comply with the ICAO safety standard of at least minimum 150 meters from the centerline.
Started in August 1, 2014, Bucayan said the PPADP is expected to be completed by January 2017.
“Frankly, Mr. President, we’re ahead by 1 percent; the actual target completion is only 29.12 percent, but we have already achieved 30 percent, or board efficient by 103 percent,” said Bucayan.
Upon hearing this, President Aquino retorted in jest, “Isn’t it supposed to be completed in 2016?”
The DOTC undersecretary said they are pushing for the airport project to be finished in less than 900 days. “We’re pushing for that, Mr. President, yes. We’re doing everything a lot earlier. The air navigation is expected to be finished much, much earlier,” he said.
In his 2012 SONA, President Aquino announced the airport upgrading of Puerto Princesa along with others in the country to improve existing facilities by expanding their capacities to meet projected passenger and cargo demands, as well as to enhance their aviation operations, services, security and safety standards in compliance withinternational standards.