MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, (PIA) — The dream of having air transportation functioning at Panan-awan airport here is getting closer to reality, as an airline company conducted last month, September, a safety inspection and technical survey, as it considered the site for its proposed new destination.

The inspection and survey by Cebu Pacific listed eight (8) findings needing “corrective action,” said Capt. Felipe Timolay, Jr. in a letter dated October 1, 2014, addressed to Lt. Gen. William K. Hotchkiss III AFP (Ret.), the Director-General of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).

“The planned commercial operations to this station (Panan-awan airport) will be deferred temporarily pending action taken on noted safety concerns.

Attached herewith are pictures taken during the airport visit as well as noted obstacles on the approach of runway 16 for your further reference,” Timola wrote in his letter, a copy of which was emailed to PIA through Nedgar Garvez, Provincial Tourism Officer.

The safety concerns included provisioning of a Category 5 Rescue and Fire Fighting Service; immediate completion of the airport terminal building; provisioning of an Air Traffic Service and Navigation Aids at the airport; repainting/painting of runway and taxiway edgelines, and establishment of aircraft parking stands at the airport apron; trimming/removal of noted vegetation growth/trees particularly at the approach of runway 16; Implementation of the planned completion/upgrading of the airport perimeter fence; updating of the airport data on the AIP to include availability of runway/taxiway/ramp PCN; and, for the proposed lengthening of the airport runway, it is recommended that the runway requirement of an A319/A320 aircraft be considered.

The letter was copy-furnished to the Assistant Director General of the Aerodrome Development and Management Service, Aerodrome and ANS Safety Oversight Office, and Air Traffic Service.

At the Provincial Development Council (PDC) meeting held recently at the RKK Function House, Garvez discussed the contents of the letter, saying some of its main points, like painting and repainting, were clearly doables.

Gov. Roger Mercado, presiding PDC chair, approved a resolution referring the Cebu Pacific letter to the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and CAAP, to relay the observations of the said airline industry and to request for funding. (ajc/mmp/PIA8-Southern Leyte)