Extension of Lingayen, Alaminos Airports’ runways mulled

LINGAYEN—Regular air transport for commuters may finally be realized after  Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade vowed to extend the Lingayen Airport’s runway  to pave the way for its “commercial orientation.”

He made the pledge after noting that the airport is only being used by two-seater planes of a flying school.

Tugade’s attention was also drawn to the Alaminos Community Airport by former DOTr Undersecretary Thomas Orbos who informed him that an allocated  budget for the airport in the 2018 General Appropriations Act and possibly in previous years are still intact.

On the Lingayen Airport, the  transportation secretary said: “Bakit nagpatayo pa tayo ng airport kung para sa flying school lamang?” Tugade said after seeing a number of two-seater planes owned by a flying school on the right side of the runway.     

When he asked the one in charge of the Lingayen Airport why the airport was not being used for commercial operation, he was told the runway is only l.06-kilometer long.

He and his entourage flew in a small plane and landed at the Lingayen Airport.

Tugade told newsmen that if an airport is to accommodate commercial flights, it must have a runway that is at least 1.6-kilometer long to accommodate turbo-prop engine planes.

He asked Gov. Amado Espino III to help prepare a plan for the extension of the runway.

Espino welcomed the commitment of Secretary Tugade to put “commercial orientation” into the Lingayen Airport by extending its runway.

“Of course, this will be a big boon to our province as it could bring tourists to Pangasinan easier and a lot faster,” Espino said. .  

Former DOTr Undersecretary Orbos hailed his former boss’ commitment to build two airports in Pangasinan, one a community airport in Alaminos for tourists visiting the Hundred Islands and other tourist spots in Western Pangasinan and a commercial airport in Lingayen that could be a big boon to businessmen in Dagupan City and Lingayen.

Construction of the Alaminos Airport started during the administration of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and was continued on staggered basis during the Aquino administration. (Leonardo Micua)

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