Full operations of rehabilitated Surigao Airport set for early 2020
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) announced that the Surigao Airport, which was damaged by a powerful earthquake two years ago, was poised to return to full operational capability by the first quarter of 2020.
The DOTr said the restoration of the gateway’s runway to at least 1,400 meters had been completed. This will pave the way for flights between the gateway in trendy Surigao del Norte, located in northern Mindanao and Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport before the end of 2019.
“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,” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said in a statement.
The repairs came in the wake of a 6.7-magnitude earthquake in 2017 that temporarily limited its operations.
The recent development was reported by DOTr assistant secretary for procurement and project implementation Giovanni Lopez.
Full operations will commence when the runway is restored to 1,800 meters by next year, according to the DOTr.
But even with a 1,400-meter runway, the Surigao Airport can already resume direct flights from Manila. Moreover, flights from Surigao to Cebu could now operate without limitations on passenger load, the department said.
Officials from the DOTr and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines inspected the gateway last August.
This was to ensure that contractors VT Lao and Pacific Concrete would expedite repair activities upon taking over the rehabilitation project in February this year.
The DOTr ordered the contractors to return the airport runway’s operational capability to pre-earthquake conditions.
“The attention to the accomplishment of this project has made all the difference in expediting the resumption of direct flights to Manila,” Lopez said in the statement.
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