Zamboanga International Airport gets much needed upgrade

Photo from Department of Transportation – Philippines Facebook Page

Having an airport that simply does the job is one thing. But, these days, having a beautiful, welcoming, clean, well-maintained one is a must. Airports, after all, are the first thing that travellers see when they get off the plane, so it’s important that they have a good first impression. 

This is why the Zamboanga International Airport (ZIA) recently underwent a much-needed rehabilitation project, including an upgraded passenger terminal building (PTB), as well as several areas at the existing terminal building. 

With these improvements, ZIA’s PTB gained an extra 691.2 square meters of space, making the PTB a 3,456-sqm structure. More importantly, the added space will allow the airport to cater to more passengers. From a 500-passenger capacity, it could now accommodate a total of 750 passengers at the arrival and pre-departure area.

The hope is that the airport improvements would encourage more travelers to visit the region, when travel restrictions are further eased. In 2018, the Zamboanga Peninsula registered 723,455 tourist arrivals (based on hotel bookings).

Photo from Department of Transportation – Philippines Facebook Page

Among the most visited tourist sites in the region include the pink sand beach of Sta. Cruz Island and the Dakak Park and Beach Resort in Dapitan City. Other places of interest include the Merloquet Falls, often cited as Zamboanga City’s most magical falls; as well as Fort Pilar, a 17th-century fort of defense built and used by the Spanish military.

For travelers looking for a more immersive cultural experience, a visit to the Yakan Weaving Village and the Rio Hondo Village would give them a taste of how locals live and make their living on a daily basis.

As the country’s 3rd largest city, it is imperative that Zamboanga City has a main airport. The ZIA is Mindanao’s third-busiest airport (after the Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City and the Laguindingan Airport in Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental).

Aside from the rehabilitated PTV, the construction and improvement of the GAD Multipurpose Hall (with a total floor area of 563 square meters with a roof deck) and the Malasakit Hall were also recently inaugurated.

The total cost of the projects at ZIA amounts to some P74.6 million, according to the Department of Transportation.

Kenneth M. del Rosario
Kenneth has been writing for the Philippine Daily Inquirer for more than 17 years, covering travel, food, motoring, technology, real estate, and business, among others.