Sunday, October 21, 2007

The new Iloilo airport

The old Iloilo airport is in Manduriao, Iloilo City. And the most prominent structure near that airport when a plan is about to land, is.... an SM City Manduriao!

Having an airport within the city proper is good because passengers from the city and Guimaras island will not need to go far if they're flying. The only problem of course is that an airport in the city proper naturally will have limited space for any expansion. Or no space at all for any expansion.

The new airport, opened only a few months ago this year, is in the town of Sta. Barbara. It's about 22 kms. from the city proper, passing by the town of Pavia. The airport should be ok for some international flights because it is modern enough. Departure lounge on the 3rd floor, arrival area on the 2nd floor, and airport cargo equipment and staff on the ground floor. The design is like a midget or small version of many big Asian international airports.

The runway should be at least 1 km long, could be 1.5 kms. Hence, it can possibly handle a B737 or equivalent size of Airbus planes. Surrounding the runway and passenger terminal and other structures are vast rice fields and rural houses. So a further expansion in the future should pose no problem.

One thing impressive about this airport is that despite its modern design and features, the terminal fee is a modest and very reasonable rate of only P30/passenger. If you compare it with the current old, ugly and congested domestic terminal in Pasay charging P200/passenger, the rate of the latter, operated by the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), would really look like a highway robbery.

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