We get it.
Bicolanos and travelers to and from the region will have to get used to flying and landing on four dated airports, one each in Legazpi, Pili (for Naga), Virac and Masbate.
The one and only, but much vaunted, Bicol International Airport, or the Southern Luzon International Airport, is still in limbo. A huge drawing in the air.
If one can wait, it will take decades, like a long instance of a waiting game.
Politics is hitting hard on air travelers’ convenience, safety and clamor for modern facility and services in the region.
But not for those destined to Tagbilaran, in the Visayas, with the opening of the new Bohol Panglao International Airport (BPIA).
BPIA was inaugurated on November 27 and formally opened for commercial flights the following day. It officially replaced the dated Tagbilaran Airport, now decommissioned, situated within the city limits.
To be specific, it is located in Barangay Tawala of Panglao town of namesake island, off the southwestern end of Bohol province. It boasts of a 2,500 meter runway (8,292 feet).
Panglao island is connected conveniently with big island and province of Bohol by two bridges, the Suarez bridge and the Gov. Borja bridge.
For air travelers, the new airport will retain the existing IATA (International Air Transport Association) airport code of “TAG”.
Land travel from the Tagbilaran city proper to BPIA is approximately 40 minutes.
Tagged as eco-friendly green airport, it will use natural air ventilation and solar panels for about one third of its energy requirement.
With BPIA now in service, it is expected to handle 2 million passengers on its first year of operation.
Below, sharing a video of a Philippine Airlines plane taking off Legazpi Airport:
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