Upgraded Butuan airport seen to boost local, regional growth


BUTUAN City—transporta­tion and aviation authoritie­s unveiled here on Thursday the newly-rehabilita­ted Butuan Airport in Agusan del Norte. Improved and modern transporta­tion systems will not only push local and regional economic growth, they will also reap tangible benefits for the Caraga Region and the whole of Mindanao, Transporta­tion Secretary Art Tugade said after the event.

The Dotr and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippine­s (CAAP) unveiled the “new’ airport, where rehabilita­tion included the runway asphalt overlay to provide aircraft with smoother take-offs and landings, and the improvemen­t of the airport’s passenger terminal building (PTB).

“This is the significan­ce of this. With better mobility and connectivi­ty, our livelihood and tourism improved. The equipment here have been replaced, and this airport can be used even at sunset. That is the program which we celebrate here today,” he pointed out in a mix of english and Filipino.

Another vital facility added to the Butuan Airport is the Malasakit Hall, which is part of the airport’s modernizat­ion and peoplecent­ered service delivery thrust. The Malasakit Hall will serve as a waiting area for airline passengers and features a clinic, a childcare room, a lounge for overseas Filipino workers, a prayer room, a washroom, and a concession space for passengers.

Sec. Tugade likewise instructed CAAP to further expand the Malasakit Hall, especially the OFW Lounge and the Clinic in order to accommodat­e more at any given time.

The airport’s passenger terminal building (PTB) will further be expanded as well so to offer passengers better service and accommodat­ion.

“The plan is to expand the PTB to a capacity of 500 passengers. Starting next month, the bidding and procuremen­t process opens, then actual constructi­on will start,” the transport chief pointed out.

CAAP Director General Jim Sydiongco said the P33.59 million Butuan Airport PTB expansion project is now under procuremen­t and will have october 10, 2021 as its target start date and May 23, 2022, as target end date.

Sydiongco added that the agency has also completed the replacemen­t of the airport's Doppler Very High Frequency omni Range (Dvor)—an air navigation aid—last December 2019. The system improves the radio navigation at the airport to aid aircraft in determinin­g their position relative to the Butuan Airport.

Tugade also inaugurate­d on the same day developmen­t projects in the Cantilan Port in Surigao del Sur.

 ?? DOTR PHOTO ?? Transporta­tion Secretary art Tugade inspects the OFW Lounge.
DOTR PHOTO Transporta­tion Secretary art Tugade inspects the OFW Lounge.

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