The Bohol-Panglao International Airport (BPIA) replaces the 850m2 Tagbilaran Airport in Bohol, that used to be one of the busiest runways in the country. The 13,337m2 BPIA, built to accommodate as many as two million passengers annually — more than double the 800,000 capacity of the now-closed Tagbilaran Airport — is situated on Panglao Island, just 40 minutes’ drive from Tagbilaran City. It was officially inaugurated in November 2018.
A showcase in sustainability
As the country’s first “eco-airport”, the BPIA features environmentally friendly LED lights, energy-saving air-conditioning systems, a waste management system and a sewage treatment plant for the reuse of waste water. Solar energy panels installed on the roof of the passenger terminal building also supply energy to support 30% of the airport’s functionalities — including its hot water supply system.
These sustainable efforts extend beyond the airport’s main foundations — the surrounding landscape is home to 1,700 trees, 240,000 shrubs and ground cover and 11ha of sodding, designed to help neutralize carbon dioxide emissions. To compensate for the trees that had to be cut down to make way for the airport, 624,100 seedlings have also been planted around Bohol island.
The Chocolate Hills and beyond
Dubbed the “green gateway to the world”, BPIA’s architectural design was inspired by Bohol’s own Chocolate Hills. The hills are a unique geological formation and one of the region’s most prominent natural tourist attractions. The P8.9 billion BPIA project has made the new airport base an alternative gateway to Central Visayas — travelers are given access to the Chocolate Hills, the wonderful tarsiers (one of the smallest known primates in the world) and also the surrounding islands and islets.
This article first appeared in the February 2019 issue of Smile magazine.