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Mayor Edward Hagedorn Tuesday said the expansion of the city’s airport will be completed in 2010.

The expansion, which will cost P3.2 billion, will be funded out of royalties from the Malampaya Gas Reservoir located in northern Palawan.

Mayor Hagedorn said the upgrading of the city\'s airport into international standards will further strengthen the niche of the city as the commercial center of Palawan as well as premiere destination hub in the country.

His statement came on Earth Day and at a time when the city is hosting the annual Palarong Pambansa for the first time.

Hagedorn said they are hoping the Department of Transportation and Technology, the government agency that will implement the project, will fast-track the bidding for the airport expansion.

The mayor said the expansion, which will be completed in 2010, will open the door for international flights into the city.

Expansion work in the airport is ongoing but assistant Transportation secretary Elmer Soneja said only minimum workis being done at the moment to avoid disruptions in the operations of the existing airport.

He said the bidding has been set for the first week of May.

The airport has been the object of recent complaints as airline passengers have been complaining of the intense heat at the terminal which has resulted in one death this summer apparently caused by heat stroke.

Conditions have improved at the airport following the mayor’s representation with national government agencies for immediate intervention to ensure continued passenger comfort and convenience by providing a better airconditioning system.

The mayor clarified that it is not the city government but the national government that operates the airport. But we are concerned because it affects the city visitors, the mayor said, adding: “We are hosting the Palarong Pambansa for the first time and we do not want the young athletes to suffer. Tourists are saying we have a beautiful city with good facilities except the airport. This could affect tourism in the long term if the problem persists.”


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