Employment and tourism opportunities are expected to flourish in the province of Aklan following the inauguration of the upgraded Kalibo International Airport (KIA), Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur P. Tugade said.
Tugade said that aside from comfort, improved mobility, and connectivity, the newly-improved and renovated gateway will also bring additional jobs and boost the tourism industry in the province.
“Kami po ay naniniwala na malaki ang maitutulong ng proyektong ito, hindi lang sa larangan ng turismo, kundi sa paglago ng ekonomiya dito sa lugar ng Kalibo, Aklan (We believe that this project will not only be a boon to tourism, but to the economy of Kalibo, Aklan as well),” Tugade said during the ceremony on Friday, June 4.
Tugade said at least 280 workers were employed during the renovation of the airport, with more jobs expected to be generated as the improved gateway becomes operational.
“Mapapalaganap at mapapalago ang turismo. Ito ay magiging international gateway sapagkat ang airport na ito ay of international standard (Local tourism will expand and grow. This will become an international gateway since this airport is of international standard),” Tugade boasted.
Aklan is the home province of the world famous Boracay Island.
The airport’s expanded 2,633.40 square meter international passenger terminal building (PTB) can now accommodate 406 passengers from its previous 344-passenger volume.
With the terminal’s expansion, queuing passengers are provided with a 126-square meter covered section outside the international PTB for weather protection. Ample space for the operation of Customs, Immigration, and Pre-Screening personnel have also been provided to eliminate long passenger queues.
Meanwhile, airline check-in counters have been extended to 468 square meters from the previous 216 square meters. The passenger pre-departure waiting area now covers 608.40 square meters after 284.40 square meters were added to the space.
Also repaired during the airport’s renovation was over 4,000 square meters of pavement, which removed unexpected hazards to parking aircraft.