By Ariel Fernandez
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has committed to continue improving the country’s aviation sector and pursue its mission of connecting the country’s islands through aviation and in making air transport more available and convenient to Filipinos.
The CAAP said it launched last year a number of projects that will help improve the country’s aviation infrastructure and steadily fulfill CAAP’s vision of a Philippines that is fully connected by aviation.
CAAP Spokesman Eric Apolonio said to help improve the connectivity of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN, enhance aviation safety, optimize Philippine airspace, reduce CO2 emissions, and promote greener skies, the CAAP inaugurated the new Communication, Navigation, Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) Complex January 16 and December 17, respectively.
The previous year also saw the inaugurations of new airports such as Lal-lo Airport on March 14, San Vicente Airport on May 10, and Bohol-Panglao International Airport on November 27. Aside from opening new airports, the CAAP also inaugurated new passenger terminal building (PTBs) for the Tuguegarao Airport on March 14, Daniel Z. Romualdez (Tacloban) Airport on March 16, Virac Airport on June 1, and Maasin Airport on July 2.
The authority is also proud to share that as of November 30, the country has 18 airports capable of operations at night, allowing airports to operate for longer hours and enabling these gateways to service more flights, passengers, and cargo.
These airports include Clark International Airport, Davao International Airport, Kalibo International Airport, Laoag International Airport, Mactan-Cebu International Airport, Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Puerto Princesa International Airport, General Santos International Airport, Zamboanga International Airport, Iloilo International Airport, Bacolod-Silay Airport, Butuan Airport, Laguindingan Airport, Tacloban Airport, Roxas Airport, Dumaguete Airport, Caticlan Airport, and Legazpi Airport (with limitations).
For this year, CAAP is looking at more project completion and inaugurations. By 2019, PTBs in Busuanga Airport, Camiguin Airport, Catarman Airport, Marinduque Airport, Ormoc Airport, Ipil Airport, Mati Airport, and Siargao Airport will soon be opened.
While maintaining safety in aviation, the authority is also continuously upgrading and working towards the night rating of several airports expected to be completed by 2019-2021. Naga Airport, Tuguegarao Airport, Cotabato Airport, Bohol-Panglao International Airport, Cauayan Airport, Dipolog Airport, Ozamiz Airport, and Pagadian Airport are among the airports whose night rating are currently being processed.
Under the “Build, Build, Build” program, Deparment of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade’s solid guidance, and the CAAP’s steadfast performance, Philippine aviation is expected to soar higher in the years to come.