By Maya M. Padillo
DAVAO CITY — A law creating the Davao International Airport Authority (DIAA) is expected to improve airport facilities and increase the city’s overseas connectivity, the business sector said.
President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed into law a measure creating the DIAA on Aug. 30.
Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII) President Arturo M. Milan said Davao residents can now expect more rapid development of the airport in terms of terminal upgrades and foreign direct flights.
In an interview, Mr. Milan said the law will also make DIAA the premier gateway to Mindanao and to the BIMP-EAGA (Brunei Indonesia Malaysia Philippines-East Asean Growth Area) countries.
“The terminal has to be expanded and I heard they will start second half of next year. Our terminal is a bit congested with so many domestic flights and four direct (international) flights,” he said.
Mr. Milan is expecting two new international services to Davao to be established within the year. He said there is a need to expand the terminal and cargo-handling facility because the city is looking at supplying international markets with food and livestock.
In 2017, Mr. Milan said there was a need for more focused management of the airport through the creation of an independent authority similar to the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA).
“The long wait is over and we at the Davao City Chamber would like to thank the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the President for making Davao International Airport into an authority,” he said.
Generose D. Tecson, City Tourism Operations Office (CTOO) head, said she is looking forward to an improved airport.
“(The airport is important) for impressions of tourists when they come to Davao… I am looking forward to a beautiful airport, one that showcases the culture of the region. Once people get in they get the feel of what Davao really is all about,” she said.
The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) has welcomed the signing of Republic Act 11457 creating DIAA.
In a statement, MinDA said it is expecting the development and improvement of the airport facilities, and responsive airport management, which is at par with the best airports.
MinDA also said the measure will help the city become an investment and tourism destination in the ASEAN and BIMP-EAGA sub-region.
The Republic Act No. 11457 if formally known as “An act creating the Davao International Airport Authority, transferring existing assets of Francisco Bangoy International Airport to the Authority, vesting the Authority with power to administer and operate the Francisco Bangoy International Airport and appropriating funds therefor.”