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The DOTr is ready to begin operations at the Bicol International Airport.

The official inauguration of the Bicol International Airport (BIA) in Daraga, Albay on October 5, 2021 is on track.

President Rodrigo Duterte is scheduled to oversee the opening of the first international airport facility south of Manila, according to a statement released by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Tuesday.

The BIA is located in Barangay Alobo and took nearly 12 years to construct at a cost of PHP4 billion. Commercial flights will begin on Wednesday, October 6th, while domestic daytime flights will begin on Thursday, October 7th (October 7).

In a recent media conference, Cynthia Tumanut, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) manager for Legazpi, announced the airport will be available to domestic night flights on November 7.

Last Sunday, Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade oversaw the final inspection of BIA, which is billed as the country’s “Most Scenic Gateway” with Mount Mayon as its background.

Tugade described the BIA’s operationalization as a “personal struggle” for him since several critics had doubts about its completion.

During the inspection, Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda, Legazpi City Mayor Noel Rosal, and Daraga Mayor Victor Pirete accompanied the DOTr head.

“We are pleased to report that the BIA is now approaching completion and will be ready to service domestic aviation passengers by Thursday,” Tugade remarked after inspecting the BIA’s overall physical achievement.

He also said that the facility will be ready for international flights by the end of the year, pending airline submissions for IATA approval.

The BIA, which will replace the Legazpi Domestic Airport once it is fully operational, is anticipated to handle a total of two million people each year, according to Tugade.

Construction of the airport resulted in the creation of 755 employees, with an additional 1,100 indirect jobs anticipated once the airport opens for business.

Meanwhile, Salceda stated that a proposal to convert the Legazpi Domestic Airport terminal into the new Legazpi Central Business District is in the works.

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