Catarman Airport inaugurated

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

Opportunities for growth are in the province of Northern Samar as the Department of Transportation (DOTr), together with the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) formally inaugurates today, 02 September 2021, the upgraded Catarman Airport.

DOTr Secretary Art Tugade led the formal opening of the improved gateway as he stressed the importance of developing and upgrading airports across the country regardless of size or capacity.

"Nakita ko 'yung potential ng tourism na andoon sa Catarman. Baka manatiling potensyal 'yan forever kung hindi aayusin 'yung paliparan. Kaya ito ‘ho ‘yung pangalawang dahilan na nagtulak sa akin na ayusin 'yung paliparan nang sa ganoon ay mabigyang-buhay at patotoo 'yung potensyal ng turismo ng Catarman," Secretary Tugade said.

“Hindi ‘ho ba na dapat lang na ang improvement ay dapat gawin sa maliit na lugar para magkaroon naman sila ng opurtunidad para lumaki at lumago? Ang development projects ‘ho ng Pangulong Duterte do not, and are not, predicated on size, nor it is predicated on [voting] population. It is predicated on the lead for development. Because development and growth apply to all,” the Transportation Chief said.

The CAAP said that prior to its upgrade, the Catarman Airport can only accommodate 50 passengers at any given time.

With the upgraded Passenger Terminal Building (PTB), the capacity of the airport has been tripled and can now accommodate 150 passengers at any given time or around 50,000 passengers annually. This significant capacity increase aims to help the whole projected 250,000 tourists and travelers coming within the region, as well as travelers from outside and nearby regions using different ports of entries once quarantine restrictions are relaxed.

Upgrades in the Catarman Airport include a new perimeter fence, a re-blocked apron pavement, and asphalt overlay and shoulder grade correction at the runway. Added improvements include the construction of a fire station building, a powerhouse, and a flight service station. The added renovation works were completed August of this year, ahead of its target completion date.

For his part, CAAP Director General Capt. Jim Sydiongco underscored the advantage of sound cooperation among government agencies and local government units to realize development projects that will boost enhanced mobility and connectivity in the country.

“Under the staunch guidance of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and with the dedicated leadership of DOTr Secretary Art Tugade, and the continued commitment of the entire DOTr, CAAP, and the LGU to improve the Catarman Airport, progress in the municipality and Northern Samar’s transport sector will continue to take flight,” DG Sydiongco said.

Meanwhile, Northern Samar 1st District Representative Paul Daza expressed his appreciation to the national government for finally upgrading the facilities of their airport.

“If you saw this airport 10 years ago, malaki po ang pinag-iba. Talagang sira-sira at ang liit. And then the big typhoons came, and we were desperate. The DOTr did not just funded the repair. There were many improvements in the airport,” Rep. Daza said.

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