Newest runway inaugurated
- Manny Galvez () - March 11, 2005 - 12:00am
SAN LUIS, Aurora — A P40-million, two-kilometer runway has been formally inaugurated in this town, which is expected not only to usher in the entry of commercial and chartered flights in this eastern part of Central Luzon but also perk up tourism and economy in this third-class province, one of the so-called 20 poorest provinces.

Sen. Edgardo Angara, a native of the capital town of Baler, his younger sister Gov. Bellaflor Angara-Castillo and his son, Rep. Sonny Angara and Vice Gov. Annabelle Tangson led the inauguration of the airstrip in ceremonies in Barangay San Isidro, seven kilometers from the capital town.

Among those who graced the inauguration were Secretary Leandro Mendoza of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), Assistant Secretary Lito Capilo, Air Transportation Office (ATO) local chief Dante Marigmen among others.

Governor Angara-Castillo told The STAR that the opening of the runway also opened up a lot of opportunities for the people of Aurora and from other places.

"The impact on tourism and economy will be tremendous because if you see, the difficulty of transport by land is they travel six to eight hours. With this runway, people will travel only 35 minutes from Manila to Aurora," she said.

Because of the accessibility of air travel, she said that Aurora can potentially become a tourist haven like Palawan because of the virginal state of its environment and contribute to the upsurge of ecnomic opportunities in the province.

Angara-Castillo said SE Air will launch within the year the inaugural flight for the runway with commercial planes which have a capacity of 32 passengers. She noted that cargo planes may also use the runway.

She said ATO and SE Air will tackle the fare rates to be imposed on passengers.

The runway’s construction actually started in 1992 but its completion took more than 10 years because of lack of funds. The project was opened in 2000 with the inaugural flight in 2001 but then President Estrada was ousted.

Shortly after, right-of-way problems started to crop up after the remaining landowners refused to sell a parcel of land straddling the runway.

This prompted the ATO to file a case for expropriation which is still pending with the sala of Baler Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Corazon Soluren.

Angara-Castillo said that when she was still congresswoman, she already paid for the right-of-way for the project but the remaining family, the Quizon family would not budge. "If no amicable settlement is reached, we will pursue the expropriation case," she said.

AIR TRANSPORTATION OFFICE ANGARA-CASTILLO ANNABELLE TANGSON ASSISTANT SECRETARY LITO CAPILO BALER REGIONAL TRIAL COURT BARANGAY SAN ISIDRO BELLAFLOR ANGARA-CASTILLO CENTRAL LUZON DANTE MARIGMEN EDGARDO ANGARA GOVERNOR ANGARA-CASTILLO
  • Latest
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with