The Laoag International Airport (LIA) is taking big steps to welcome more flights and passengers when things get better in the new normal.
Following the completion of the airport’s powerhouse, expansion and improvement of the Passenger Terminal Building (PTB), expansion of apron, and rehabilitation of its runway which is under the national government’s infrastructure development program, two more projects such as the asphalt overlay and site acquisition works are expected to be completed this year, according to Ronald Estabillo, Manager of LIA, on Friday.
Four years ago, the Laoag airport can only accommodate a combined number of 140 international and domestic passengers. But through the joint initiatives and development projects pursued by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), the Laoag airport can now serve 200 international passengers and 240 domestic passengers.
Estabillo said the upgraded airport will enhance Ilocos region’s connectivity and mobility as it will further boost the province’s economic growth, tourism, and socio-economic opportunities.
Along with the continuing improvement, airport employees on Thursday also witnessed the formal inauguration of the two-story CAAP administration building worth PHP13.9 million.
“Here in CAAP, we want to provide comfort and convenience not only to our passengers but also to our employees. With Laoag International Airport’s new admin building, our CAAP employees are being equipped with facilities that will enable them to do their jobs more efficiently while also providing them workspace that is safe and motivating,” said CAAP Director General Jim Sydiongco.
The construction of the administration building started on December 10, 2019 and was completed on December 23, 2020.
In addition, the Laoag airport has also set up newly furnished areas for the finance office, disbursement office, and a conference room.
In June this year, the Laoag airport has started allowing regional flights to cater to returning Filipinos and help decongest quarantine facilities in Metro Manila as well as Pampanga.
In pre-pandemic times, the Laoag airport used to cater one international flight, a chartered flight from Guangzhou, China and some domestic flights. (PNA)