TAGBILARAN CITY – The delay in the implementation of the city airport apron project may adversely affect tourism campaign to entice more visitors. This came following the vigorous campaign for “Visit Bohol 2015” set on January 8-10 in Manila as part of the marketing efforts. The campaign is needed to fill the gap of tourist in diminishing arrivals following the earthquake and typhoon that struck the province the other year.
Last year, tropical storms —- Queenie, Ruby and Seniang — that occurred last year also disturb tourist arrivals despite the optimism that tourism would bounce back. Some industry players said that the construction of city apron looks like a temporary or “band aid” solution to the airport problem while waiting for the realization of the new Bohol airport in Pnaglao. Gov Edgar Chatto said in radio report that the said delay “is a disappointment.” “I’m also disappointed,” he said.
The governor’s displeasure was a result of the incident in the airport. AirAsia plane developed a tire problem after it landed at city airport, causing the stranding of passengers and diversion of in-coming flights last Sunday. There were two flights of Philippine Airlines, one each of Tiger/AirAsia and Cebu Pacific that were rerouted following the incident.city Cebu Pacific had to make landing in Mactan-Cebu airport, airport source said. Stranded passengers had no option since they’re not be able to take the sea transpo because no fast craft or vessel was allowed to sail Monday when Bohol was placed under signal number one.
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has imposed one-plane landing policy considering the narrow runway and limited space for “apron” of the city airport. This was not the first time that a plane is stranded at the airport. There were two others for other causes in past months, the source said.
The governor said that he is endorsing to the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC), under which CAAP is attached, for the policy change in the project implementation. The policy change would be that CAAP will not be involved in the project implementation, like the extension of apron in city airport.
It was learned that thru Chatto’s lobby, the SVD congregation that runs the Holy Name University here has already given its nod to lease the lot it owned near the airport where the new apron is to be built.
He said that CAAP has already done the procurement of the project but not yet awarded so the project could start immediately. He said that Bohol is not asking for an airport but an apron to construct so that the existing one could be immediately decongested.