DOTr backs upgrading of Bantayan airport

DOTr backs upgrading of Bantayan airport

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman) - May 7, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The Department of Transportation and the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority have supported the move of Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia to upgrade the Bantayan Island Airport.

This is in order to attract more tourists going to the island and bring back the lost livelihood of the people who were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Ang Bantayan Island Airport na dati ang pananaw community airport lang ay gagawin nating tourism airport. Papalaparin natin yung runway, maglagay tayo ng mga  equipment para yung mga turista na gustong pumasok at lumapag sa Bantayan ay makakaseguro na convenient at safe,” said DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade in a press conference yesterday in Cebu.

The Bantayan Island Airport is currently classified as a community airport by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines.

“Napakalaking impact once we expand that and once matapos yung project na yan we will now be able to accept scheduled commercial flights,” said Garcia in the same press conference.

The governor said that one airline has already committed to schedule two flights daily that will further expand tourism in Bantayan Island.

“I am glad Secretary Tugade is working with us, the Cebu provincial government reviving the economy, in addressing infrastructure that is needed to help people get back on their feet,” said the governor.

MCIAA acting general manager, Atty. Glenn Napuli, said they planned to widen the runway from 18 meters to 30 meters.

Tugade said that if MCIAA has no internal budget for the widening then they can ask DOTr or the Office of the President for funding.

Tugade hopes that the widening of the airport is achieved in the first quarter of next year. — GMR (FREEMAN)

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