Naga airport gets P157M for upgrade
By JUAN ESCANDOR JR.
NAGA CITY— Camarines Sur Gov. Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr. in a statement disclosed the Department of Transportation and Communication’s (DOTC’s) allotment of P157.5M for the upgrade of Naga Airport in Pili, Camarines Sur.
Villafuerte revealed the budget for the upgrade is intended for the purchase and installation of Airfield Lighting System which will enable Naga Airport capable of night-time take-off and landing of airplanes.
He said that in a letter dated April 11, 2012, DOTC Undersecretary Efren Moncupa informed him of the P157.5-M allotment through the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) for “the partial modernization of Naga Airport.”
Villafuerte said the allotment is intended for the purchase and installation of airfield lighting system at P50M; provision and installation of traffic console at P15M; purchase of rapid intervention fire trucks at P50M; replacement of communication equipment at P20M; improvement and expansion of passenger terminal building at P16M; and construction of an administrative building at P4.5M.
“We would like to thank the DOTC, particularly Secretary Mar Roxas and Usec. Moncupa, for promptly acting on our request to upgrade the operational capability of our airport. This will be a big boost to our tourism industry in particular and the province’s economy in general,” he said.
Villafuerte said he wrote Roxas December 8, 2011, requesting the provision of safety devices for Naga Airport to comply with international standards and ensure efficient and reliable air transportation to and from the province.
He said he specifically requested approach lights at both ends of the airport’s runway—a runway edge light and a taxiway light.
Villafuerte said there were increased incidents in Naga Airport that could have compromised the safety of the passengers and possibly damaged properties.
He said the provincial government is pushing for the modernization of the airport in line with its thrust to maintain the province’s status prime sports and ecotourism destination in the country and also to promote the province as a in the Philippines.
Villafuerte recalled that in 2008, budget carrier Cebu Pacific informed the provincial government of the latter’s intention to add a morning and evening flight to the province if the airport becomes night-time capable.
He said he had been pushing the national government to make Naga Airport night-time capable.
Villafuerte said he had pushed the project of making Naga Airport night-time capable in the Forum on Harnessing the Growth Potentials of Tourism during the 45th Annual Meeting of Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank, where he was one of the panelists, last month.
He noted that making Naga Airport and other secondary airports in the country night-time capable would help decongest air traffic at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) during peak hours in the early evening.