CAAPTACLOBAN CITY, June 21 (PNA) — The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has lined up PHP2.21 billion upgrading projects for seven airports in Eastern Visayas between 2016 to 2020, in the bid to comply with current aviation standards.

About PHP1.59 billion worth of projects this year are intended for Daniel Z. Romualdez (DZR) Airport in this city, the region’s busiest and premier airport, said CAAP Eastern Visayas area manager Danilo Abareta

Projects scheduled for DZR Airport are the PHP120.4 million leveling of runway strip, PHP11.4 million provision of runway end safety area, PHP2.1 million installation of bird control system, PHP201.5 million construction of new vehicle parking areas, PHP300.1 million restoration of shoreline protection.

Other activities are the PHP652.8 million construction of new terminal building, PHP253.5 million upgrading of existing runway, PHP2.55 million procurement of service vehicle, and PHP50.2 million acquisition of maintenance and service equipment.

“The biggest project for Tacloban is the new two-storey passenger terminal building equipped with passenger loading bridges, departure and arrival conveyors elevators and escalator, flight display system, and security equipment,” Abareta said.

“This upgrade aims to improve the airport’s facilities to current aviation standards and cope with the increasing air traffic demand of Tacloban City and the whole of Eastern Visayas region.”

Under CAAP’s timeline, the new terminal building will be completed in September 30, 2018.

The Maasin Airport in Southern Leyte will get PHP151.5 million funding for the construction of flight service station and provision of navigational facilities. This project is up for completion on December 15, 2019.

Ormoc Airport in Leyte will get two projects until 2019 – the PHP151.5 million flight service station and PHP20.1 million procurement of maintenance and service equipments.

The Catarman Airport in Northern Samar and Calbayog Airport in Samar will get PHP2.55 million each for procurement of service vehicle and PHP20.1 million each for acquisitions of maintenance and service equipments. Both projects will be finished next year.

The procurement of equipments for these two operational airports is intended to expedite all necessary repair and maintenance works inside airport premises.

Outside Tacloban, the airport in Guiuan, Eastern Samar will get the highest budget at PHP253 million for the rehabilitation of existing runway between March 2018 to December 2019.

The central government plans to develop the airport, originally a US Navy air base during World War II, to support the tourism industry in the province , most especially in Calicoan Island, an upcoming island resort for surfers and beachcombers.

Hilongos Airport in Leyte, which has been used for emergencies, will get PHP5.35 million for the construction of a terminal shield equipped with check-in counter, departure/arrival lounge and waiting area. This is one of the three airports in Leyte province. Since its construction, no single airline operated at this airport.

CAAP Eastern Visayas is tasked to manage airports in Area VIII – DZR Airport in Tacloban City, Hilongos, Maasin and Ormoc in Leyte Island; Calbayog, Catarman, Borongan, Catbalogan, and Guiuan in Samar Island.

Of the nine airports, only three are categorized as commercial airports. These are in Tacloban, Catarman, and Calbayog. The rest are classified as community airports. (PNA)