The Francisco B. Reyes (FBR) Airport on Busuanga Island will soon move to a new location at the Yulo King Ranch in Coron town in a 300-hectare piece of land to cater to larger aircraft.
1st Palawan District House Rep. Franz “Chicoy” Alvarez disclosed Thursday that an initial funding of PhP1 billion from the transportation department had already been transferred to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) so bidding can already start for the relocation and construction of a bigger airport.
“Kailangan na talaga na totally ay i-reorient ang Busuanga airport kasi wala ng space for expansion dahil bulubundukin. Di kaya mag-landing ng mga malalaking aircraft,” he said.
Rep. Alvarez said he sees no problem in transferring the airport to the YKR since talks and eventual agreements would be government-to-government.
Governor Jose Alvarez, he further disclosed, will be helping CAAP in dealing with the settlers that had illegally taken up residence in the proposed area.
“There’s a lot of illegal settlers, but our governor has committed his help in talking to them to vacate the area for the proposed site,” he added.
He said the CAAP has already surveyed the proposed site in the YKR sometime December last year and the latest news his office received last week was that a pre-bidding conference might already happen before June.
He stated that he is hoping that the relocation of the Busuanga airport will happen this year since it has been waiting for a long time since the former Aquino administration.
“In two weeks, I was told that the pre-bidding conference will open. Another two weeks more and the detailed engineering design will already be offered for bidding,” he said.
The FBR is classified as a Class 2 principal or minor airport by the CAAP serving the general area of Coron and sharing with the neighboring municipalities of Busuanga and Culion.
It was named after Francisco B. Reyes, the mayor of Coron, who served from 1936 to 1939, and who donated the land that forms the current airport complex.
Once completed, he said the airport can open to also receive foreign tourists who can fly directly from Hongkong, Korea, and China.