New Calbayog Airport seen to complement Tacloban Airport

Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Director-General Jim Sydiongco expects the recent changes made to Calbayog Airport in Samar to lead to the development and economic revitalization of Eastern Visayas by offloading air traffic from neighboring Tacloban Airport.

In a speech at the inauguration of Calbayog Airport on Wednesday, May 5, the CAAP chief said that the project’s construction included comprehensive landside and airside facilities such as the new passenger terminal building (PTB).

“The airport, which can now accommodate jet aircraft operations, an increased terminal capacity of 450 passengers from the previous 76-passenger capacity, will now be able to provide convenient and accessible air travel to the people of Eastern Visayas,” Sydiongco said.

The completed projects include the extension of its apron, the installation of a new taxiway, the widening of the runway, the adjustment of the runway strip grade, the construction of a runway safety marker, the construction of a perimeter barrier, and the construction of its drainage system. The official also added that the airport’s administration building, fire escape bay and access lane, and a control tower would be improved.

The CAAP Director-General said that the construction project costs a total of PHP627 million.

During the inauguration, DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade stressed the importance of these projects in helping Samar recover from the destruction and difficulties caused by Typhoon Yolanda and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ginagawa natin ang paliparan na ito, upang pagdating ng panahon ng pangangailangan at ‘new normal’, andyan na ang pasilidad, upang sa ganon, ang pagbiyahe ng ating mga kababayan, at ang pag-unlad ng negosyo ay nariyan at naka-kasa na (We’re building this airport so that when the time comes that it is needed, the facilities are already there, allowing Filipinos to travel and support the development of businesses),” Tugade said.

The DOTr said in a press release that once operational, the Calbayog Airport will serve as a “complementary airport” to the Tacloban Airport.

Photo credit: DoTr. Facade of the new Calbayog Airport.