Clark, Pampanga — Direct flights from Manila to Surigao and vice versa are set to resume by yearend as the new contractor for Surigao Airport’s development project has launched an accelerated construction pace to finish runway rehabilitation works by December this year.
The airport sustained damages after a strong earthquake rocked Surigao del Norte in 2017.
Department of Transportation (DOTr) Assistant Secretary for Procurement and Project Implementation Giovanni Lopez and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Director General Jim Sydiongco, led a site visit and inspection at the said airport yesterday, August 7, 2019, together with Presidential Communications Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar, to check the progress of the development project.
“As instructed by Secretary Tugade, focus shall be given on this project so as to make sure that no further delays will be incurred. Babantayan po natin ito upang masiguro na matatapos ng naaayon sa napagkasunduang timeline. ‘Yan po ang ginagawa natin at ‘yan po ang mangyayari,” Asec. Lopez said.
A technical briefing for Secretary Andanar and members of the state-run and local media was likewise facilitated with the new contractor, Pacific Concrete (PC).
PC took over the rehabilitation works for the runway after the original contractor, Herbana Builders, was terminated due to abandonment of the project that led to its continuous disrepair.
According to the revised plan, PC shall complete the ongoing preparatory works for the asphalt overlay of the existing 1,000-meter usable runway and the rehabilitation of the unusable portion that was damaged by the magnitude 6.7 tremor.
Further, PC will ensure the completion of an additional usable 400-meter runway portion, bringing the usable runway to 1,400 meters by December 2019. Thereafter, the new contractor is tasked to further adjust the usable runway from 1,400 to its full operational capability before the earthquake at 1,700 meters by the end of February 2020.
“Our priority is to be able to complete the extension of the runway to 1,400 meters by end of this year. A longer runway will enable the airport to accommodate bigger aircrafts,” CAAP DG Jim Sydiongco said.
For his part, DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade says the DOTr will stringently monitor the implementation of the rehabilitation and expansion works with the goal of immediately resuming direct flights to and from Surigao City.
“It is our earnest commitment to the people of Surigao to restore the airport’s viability. We will make sure to work on this expediently so we may bring back connectivity in the province at the soonest possible time,” the transportation chief said.
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