First international flight lands in Bacolod-Silay Airport
People in Negros Occidental, reeling fresh from revelry that New Year brought in was treated to another equally significant event – the historic landing of the first international aircraft in Bacolod-Silay airport last January 2, 2009.
Airport Manager Antonio Alfonso said the aircraft was a Tupolev 134A-3 that carried eight passengers and eight crews who said they intend to go on a medical tour in the province. The aircraft took off from Kazakhstan and flew to China and then to the province’ airport. Its was not a commercial airplane but a chartered aircraft.
In accommodating the aircraft, Alfonso said they requested additional manpower from the quarantine and customs office. He said the Russians intend to stay until January 12 but may leave earlier than that date. They are entitled to stay until January 31 according to our immigration rules, Alfonso added.
He said the airport will be ready to accommodate more international flights in the future as its facilities are not yet prepared to meet some requirements for international flights. The biggest airplane the airport can accommodate is Airbus 320 and other similar planes, Alfonso said.
The airport was inaugurated only last July, 2007 by President Gloria M. Arroyo as one of her countryside mega infrastructures that would push for the economic growth of Negros Occ.
The first landing of this international aircraft signals the economic potentials that the airport could give to the province and the country as a whole.