By Glen S. Ramos
CATARMAN, Northern Samar – Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur M. Tugade together with the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) led the inauguration of the newly upgraded and improved Catarman Airport last September 2, 2021.
Tugade stressed the importance of developing and upgrading airports across the country regardless of size or capacity. “Nakita ko ‘yung potential ng tourism dito sa Catarman at upang mapanatili ito dapat mayroon tayong maayos na paliparan.”
“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,” he emphasized.
Prior to its improvement and upgrade, the Catarman Airport can only accommodate 50 passengers at any given time.
Now, with the new 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.
Improvements at 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 in August of this year, ahead of its target completion date. (ai/mtvn)