The new Puerto Princesa International Airport was inaugurated on May 3rd and is considered as a major element to boost tourism and trade in the area.The PHP 3.8 billion terminal (US dollar 76.5 million) has been built by a South Korean contractor.
The new terminal spans 13,000 square meters and can accommodate simultaneously two wide-body and four small aircraft with a seating capacity of 1500 passengers. The airport as also a 2,600-meter runway that can accommodate bigger aircraft like an Airbus A330 (with seating capacity of 400 pax).
Speaking before the guests and attendees of the opening ceremony, Philippines Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade declared that Palawan Island inhabitants should take pride in the new facility, which can accommodate around 2 million passengers per year, doubling the capacity of the previous terminal. The Secretary was accompanied by the Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Capt. Jim C. Sydiongco, South Korea Ambassador Kim Jae-Shin, Palawan Governor Jose Alvarez, and Puerto Princesa City Mayor Luis Marcaida lll.
“I am very impressed and very happy to see a facility like this. I must make it very clear and put it on the record that this project was not started by the administration of President Duterte, but this project was completed during the term of President Duterte,” Tugade said.
Tugade added that the project was approved in 2011 but only completely realized in 2017. According to the DOTr chief, the blame for the delay should be attributed to the government bureaucracy of…the previous administration (of course).
On average, Puerto Princesa records some twenty daily flights, namely by PAL Express (Manila & Cebu), Cebu Pacific (Manila, Cebu Mactan & Iloilo), Philippine AirAsia (Manila, Cebu Mactan & Davao), PAL (Manila, Clark, & Taipei-Taoyuan) and Air Juan (Busuanga & Cuyo). Cebu Pacific is the largest carrier at Puerto Princesa Airport. CEB will be increasing the capacity of its flights to and from Puerto Princesa, upgrading from the 180-seater Airbus A320 to the Airbus A321 neos with a 230 seating capacity.