Tugade assures upgrade of Lingayen Airport
DEPARTMENT of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade has given the assurance that the upgrading of the Lingayen Airport for commercial operation will be done.
In his visit to the capital town on June 10, Tugade said he saw the state of the airport and noted that the runway built by the Americans is only 900 meters long and a width of 30 meters only, not possible for commercial operations.
“No commercial aircraft would fly and we need to extend it,” Tugade said.
He maintained that the commitment of the DOTr and CAAP (Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines) to extend the runway of the Lingayen Airport from 900 meters to 1.3 up to 1.5 kilometers long remains, adding that the width should be expanded from 30 to 40 meters.
He, however, cited a possible issue that could stand in the development, and pointed to the location of the airport being near the sea but he said his office will find ways to make it possible.
While he expressed optimism that the expansion will be completed before the end of the term of the President (Duterte), and the Lingayen Airport will be commercial operation-ready, he said “if we cannot finish the runway expansion, at least we should start doing it so that in a matter of time, there will be commercial operation here,” he added.
Tugade said the commercial operation of the airport will definitely further boost tourism in the area.
For many years already, the Lingayen Airport has been used only by a flying school for aviation students.
Tugade also mentioned that the same technical problems in the case of the proposed airport in Alaminos City for domestic operation that started its site development in 2012.
“Nothing happened,” he said. “You know why? We saw that the width is okay with 40 meters but the runway is only 890 meters so the commercial aircraft cannot land properly, so it is important to extend the runway,” he added.
Tugade was in Pangasinan to inaugurate the Pangapisan River landing facility with rock causeway that shortens travel by land from 30 minutes to five minutes only by sea for the loading and unloading of agricultural products of fishermen. It helps ease travel time of residents in at least eight barangays in Lingayen. (Eva Visperas)
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