Zamboanga International Airport (ZIA) will be the best PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 26 October 2012 00:00

A well designed and highly maintained airport is very important for our tourist industry. It will give a good impression for people entering or leaving our beautiful city by airplane. It can even help boost our city’s economy as trade investors will feel comfortable in a nice airport.

“This is the first and last thing that our city’s visitors and guests  will notice when they arrive or leave,” Engr. George Ledesma said during the awarding of the winners of the concluded ZIA (Zamboanga International Airport) Interior Design Contest last October 24 at the airport VIP Room.

The contest was launched last May 15 to come up with a master plan or blue print on how to renovate and improve our present airport. It was conceptualized during the Problem –Solving Session conducted by the Regional Project Monitoring Committee (RPMC) last year. ZIA was identified then needed a facelift to impress incoming passengers and entice outgoing passengers as well to come back again to Zamboanga Hermosa which is the air gateway in this part of Region 9.

Engr. Ledesma, an active member of RPMC, brilliantly suggested the ZIA design contest involving local architects and designers. The context of the contest was to solicit interior design of the airport portraying the way of life of Zamboangueňos and the cultural character of our city and the region. It was heartily supported by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Regional Director Teresita Socorro Ramos, Zamboanga City Mayor Celso Lobregat, Department of Tourist-9 Regional Director Mary June Bugante, the College of Architecture of the Western Mindanao State University, and three local airlines.

Declared winner was Architect Manolo L. Tatel. He was unanimously chosen by a panel of judges and was the airport passenger's top choice which was done by votes of departing passengers. Second place was Architect Jeffrey Nelson II K. Labay. Their winning designs will be displayed in the airport.

Hopefully, a national budget will be approved for ZIA renovation next year by President Noynoy Aquino III thru funding release from the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC). Let's be confident that our 2 present congress representatives will be able to get congress approval for this.

Here’s good news too for those passengers who voted in this contest. RPMC have raffle prizes for them. The major winners are Josephine Puri (round trip domestic ticket), Norman Roy (P3,000), and Hector Sosing (P2,000). Consolation prize of P1,000 each awaits for passengers Clarita Roda, Rolando Cabreros, Moh. Rafee F. Kunting, Vicente Raphael Chan, AJ Navato, and Emil J. Cruz.

Not so good news - Philippine Airlines (PAL) as of this moment will cease operating in our airport starting October 28. I hope this will not push thru. PAL is still the most preferred domestic airline because of their professional employees, impeccable good ground service, comfort in the air, wide seating space, and one can really feel safe when you fly with them. Our airport will not be at its best when PAL flies out (sighed).

By Dante Corteza