Sunday, November 18, 2018
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Airport boosts Palawan town’s potentials

Community airport in San Vicente, Palawan—DOTR/CAAP

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) inaugurated an air gateway in San Vicente, Palawan, a budding tourist destination that claims to have the longest white sand beach in the country.

Officials from the DOTr, Civil Aviation Authority (Caap) of the Philippines and the provincial government of Palawan inaugurated the P62.7-million San Vicente Airport on May 10.

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San Vicente Airport’s passenger terminal can accommodate around 100 people, double the average capacity of so-called community airports, the DOTr said.

The department expects the airport to soon accommodate larger airlines.

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Philippine Airlines spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said the country’s flag carrier was “studying” potential operations in San Vicente Airport. She said the airport could also service visitors to El Nido, another popular Palawan destination.

“The airport is two hours away from the world-famous El Nido Island. It is strategically positioned making it an ideal gateway to the famous island,” she said.

A spokesperson for Cebu Pacific said there was no immediate plan to launch flights to San Vicente.

The San Vicente Airport first opened in June 22 last year. Charter flights were launched by Air Juan in August last year.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade noted that while tourism was expected to boom in San Vicente, “locals should maintain the cleanliness of their surroundings as to protect Palawan’s beautiful locale.”

The Duterte administration closed Boracay Island for rehabilitation on April 26.

In 2006, then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo announced the construction of a new airport in San Vicente. The aim was to “jump-start tourism development” in San Vicente and other parts of northern Palawan.

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The town of San Vicente, a first-class municipality, is seen as the country’s first Flagship Tourism Enterprise Zone. It is best known for Long Beach, the longest white sand beach in the Philippines that stretches to 14.7 kilometers spanning the coastline of four barangays.

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