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New P5-B Davao airport to open Dec. 1

DAVAO CITY — It’s all systems go for the much-awaited opening of the new P5 billion Davao International Airport facility on Dec. 1.

The new facility, located just across the existing airport, boasts of modern equipment and navigation gear, including four passenger tubes, the first ever in Mindanao.

With the expected increase in international flights to the city, the 2,500-meter runway was also extended to 3,000 meters to accommodate more wide-bodied aircraft.

According to Rodolfo Laguna, of the Project Implementing Unit (PIU) under the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC), the opening of the new airport has been delayed because of efforts to correct structural defects in the passenger terminal.

"All the issues have been resolved already and now we are 100 percent confident that we have sufficiently addressed the structural defects that were raised before. We can really say now that we are prepared. That is why we agreed to the opening," Laguna said.

The new airport was actually a flagship project of former President Fidel Ramos when he assumed office in 1992 but was only funded during the term of then President Joseph Estrada and completed only this year.

Task Force Paliparan was created to take charge of the security arrangements in the new airport.

A Cebu Pacific flight from Manila is expected to be the first commercial flight to use the new facility on Dec. 1 while President Arroyo will lead the guests in the formal opening later in the day.

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