Duterte wants Tandag airport upgraded after ‘Auring’ onslaught

Published February 24, 2021, 12:38 AM

by Raymund Antonio

President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday ordered the improvement of Tandag airport in Surigao del Sur in a bid to make it at par with other domestic airports.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte

During a meeting with local officials Tuesday night on the state of the province after the onslaught of Typhoon Auring, Duterte said he wanted runway lights installed at the airport.

The Tandag airport, which has very few facilities, is one of two domestic airports operating in Surigao del Sur, the other being at Bislig City.

Duterte couldn’t but acknowledge the skyway and airports in Metro Manila in wishing that infrastructure projects in Tandag could be better. In particular, he called the skyway “maganda (beautiful).”

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade agreed with the President’s plan, adding that the government will extend Tandag airport’s runway to make it night-rated, thereby, enticing airline companies to fly directly to the province.

As it is, the airport only accommodates flights from Cebu via a subsidiary of a major domestic ariline.

“Yes, Sir. We will program that, Mayor President. And we will communicate accordingly with Governor (Alexander) Pimentel to advise them on the schedules and programs that will be undertaken to improve the airport condition,” Tugade said during the meeting.

For starters, Tugade said he would want to know why the airport, which is designed not to get flooded, was inundated recently despite a mere downpour.

He said he has asked his technical staff to check what happened to the airport and its runway in the aftermath of “Auring”.