THE government broke ground Monday on the runway extension project at the Vigan Airport in Ilocos Sur, which is aimed at increasing the types of aircraft that can use it beyond its current general-aviation market.
In a joint statement on Monday, the Department of Transportation (DoTr) and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said the P69-million project will allow bigger aircraft to use the facility.
“When we build and improve our nation’s airports, we are also building platforms for mobility and connectivity that usher in economic and social development. Through this project, Vigan will be more accessible to Filipinos… And we know that with more people coming in to Vigan, more jobs come to life for our kababayans,” Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade was quoted as saying.
Vigan Airport handled 47,856 passengers in 2018, up from 14,645 two years prior.
“The infrastructure development project of Vigan Airport was launched to address the growing demand for improvement in the airports serving the Ilocos Region. Aside from the runway extension, projects such as the runway site acquisition, expansion of the passenger terminal building, construction of an administration building, and improvement of the vehicle parking area are also in the works,” it said.
The development of Vigan Airport is part of the total P688 million the DoTr allocated from the general appropriations act (GAA) 2018 to improve four airports, the others being Laoag International Airport, Cotabato Airport and Sanga-Sanga (Tawi-Tawi) Airport.
The DoTr signed an agreement with the Department of National Defense in November to have the Armed Forces of the Philippines Task Force for Infrastructure Development undertake the airport development works. — Denise A. Valdez