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Business

Surigao Airport set to reopen by year-end

Richmond Mercurio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Surigao Airport is set to reopen to flights to and from Manila before the year ends following the restoration of the gateway’s earthquake-damaged runway.

Transportation Assistant Secretary for procurement and project implementation Giovanni Lopez said the runway has been completed ahead of its November target.

The runway is now extended to 1,400 meters from its previous length of over 1,000 meters with the additional 340-meter portion.

“This will allow Surigao Airport to resume direct flights to and from Manila. Additionally, flights from Surigao to Cebu can now operate without limitations on passenger load,” Lopez said.

Aside from connectivity, the restoration of Manila flights will not only bring connectivity to Surigao del Norte but will also contribute to its overall economic development, according to Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade.

“We are glad that the contractors made good on their word to deliver in accordance with the deadline set. The people of Surigao deserve this development, most especially after a calamity. Let us always remember that air connectivity is closely tied to regional growth,” Tugade said.

The airport sustained damages after a magnitude 6.7 earthquake rocked Surigao del Norte in 2017.

Runway rehabilitation was conducted due to the heavy structural damage that temporarily limited the airport’s operations.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) earlier tapped a new contractor for the runway’s rehabilitation works after the original contractor was terminated due to abandonment of the project that led to its continuous disrepair.

The DOTr has ordered the new contractors, VT Lao and Pacific Concrete, to return the airport runway’s operational capability to pre-earthquake conditions.

With the completion of the 1,400-meter runway, the DOTr said contractors would now work on returning the runway to its previous full operational capability at 1,800 meters by first quarter of 2020.

SURIGAO AIRPORT

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