The rehabilitation of the remaining 300-meter portion of Surigao City Airport’s runway is expected to be completed before yearend, an official said.
The Vicente T. Lao Construction and Pacific Concrete announced the completion of the partial rehabilitation of the runway that was severely damaged during the 6.7 magnitude earthquake that struck Surigao City in February of 2017.
The contractor said that the partial rehabilitation work was completed ahead of its target schedule in November 2019.
“The rehabilitation of the remaining 300 meters is still on-going,” said Surigao City Airport Manager Junelito Abrazado on Thursday (October 17), adding that the rehabilitation is being funded and implemented by the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
The total length of the runway of Surigao Airport is 1,700 meters, 700 meters of which was damaged by the strong earthquake in 2017.
Abrazado added that the physical accomplishment target for the 300 meters is February 2020. If the weather condition in Surigao City would cooperate, then the contractors can complete their work before the year ends.
“Right now we are still utilizing the 1,000-meter runway as we cater small aircraft plying the route of Cebu-Surigao City,” he said.
He said the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) will only open the newly-rehabilitated portion of the runway after the curing period of the construction work.
Meanwhile, the city government of Surigao also welcomed the development of the ongoing rehabilitation of Surigao City Airport.
“It’s big news to the people of Surigao City and nearby provinces, the business sector, and even the local and foreign tourists,” said Annette Villaces, the information officer of Surigao City.
Villaces told PNA on Thursday that residents have been waiting for the full operation of the airport, particularly the return of the flights to and from Manila.
“We used to have one flight per day from and to Manila before,” Villaces said in a phone interview, as she emphasized the hassles and difficulties that Surigaonons encounter, especially the business sector when the direct flights to Manila were canceled.
Surigao City residents and those in nearby areas who are doing business in Manila and other parts of Luzon currently utilize the airport and regular flights in Butuan City.
Travel between Butuan City and Surigao City is estimated at 3 hours by land. (PNA)