IN PHOTOS: New Terminal of Puerto Princesa International Airport is Now Open To Boost Tourism
The Puerto Princesa International Airport’s new terminal officially opened last Thursday, May 4, 2017 – a day after the Department of Transportation (DOTr) together with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAAP) led its inauguration on Wednesday. With the opening of the new airport terminal, the DOTr hopes to boost tourism in the Philippines by accommodating bigger aircrafts in Palawan.
In a statement released by the DOTr, the new airport in Puerto Princesa will be much bigger with a floor area of 13,000 square meters compared to just the 3,000 square meters of the former airport, which will be used by the military. With this development, the Puerto Princesa International Airport can now accommodate twice as much people in its sitting area and six bays. Before, only 800 people can be accommodated in the original Puerto Princesa airport. Now, the numbers have doubled with 1,500 seating capacity and more than 200 parking slots available for cars aside from aircrafts.
According to JR Mantaring, vice president for corporate affairs of Cebu Pacific, the expansion is meant to boost tourism and help the government’s goal of making tourist spots like Puerto Princesa and Palawan even more attractive to tourist markets. The airline also noted that in 2016, Puerto Princesa took 50 percent of the total market share in flights alone.
“Cebu Pacific shares the joy of the Palaweños in the opening of the newest world-class airport in Puerto Princesa, as this is expected to boost trade and tourism even more in [Palawan],” said Mantaring. “We are positive that with this expansion, we will be able to help achieve the government’s goal of increasing tourist arrivals to Palawan. With the new airport able to handle international flights, it now makes Puerto Princesa attractive for direct connections to and from key foreign tourist markets.”
As the DOTr adds, bigger aircrafts can be accommodated on the 2,600-meter runway like the Airbus A330 that can seat 400 people. The Puerto Princesa International Airports new terminal will also operate around 20 flights daily with flights from Manila, Clark and Taipei-Taoyuan for Philippine Airlines (PAL); Manila and Cebu for PAL Express; Manila, Cebu and Iloilo for Cebu Pacific; Manila, Cebu, and Davao for AirAsia; and Busuanga and Cuyo for Air Juan – the only flight that “pioneered the Puerto Princesa to Cuyo route” making Boracay, Coron and Puerto Princesa just a flight away in hopes of increasing tourism.
Aside from the flights, the usual Airbus A320 which can only seat 180 people will be upgraded with the 230-seater Airbus A321 Neo. The bigger and more modern Puerto Princesa International Airport terminal is worth PHP 4.5 billion and resides in Barangay San Miguel in Puerto Princesa City. The new airport complies with international flight standards and also boasts “state-of-the-art navigation system,” according to DOTr.