The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said there are now 23 “night-rated” commercial airports in the country, compared to only 14 when President Duterte took over six years ago.
The airports with upgraded facilities to accommodate night flights included the Bicol International Airport, Puerto Princesa International Airport, Zamboanga Airport, Bacolod-Silay Airport, Butuan Airport, Iloilo International Airport, Laguindingan Airport, Tacloban Airport, and General Santos Airport.
Earlier on, domestic flights from Manila were being crammed in the daytime due of the inability of many provincial airports to receive night flights, contributing to the congestion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport which has only two runways handling both international and domestic flights.
Most provincial airports at the time were also constrained to direct carry out Manila-bound flights during the day.
Meanwhile, the CAAP announced that the Surigao and Siargao airports in Surigao del Norte which were severely battered by typhoons last year, have been rehabilitated ready to resume normal operations.
Last Wednesday, Transportation Secretary Arturo Tugade, CAAP Director General Jim Sydiongco and other government officials visited and inspected these airports.
The inspection team landed at Surigao Airport, where the newly-restored Passenger Terminal Building (PTB) greets passengers with a more convenient and spacious pre-departure area.
Restrooms were likewise improved and new air-conditioning units were installed at the terminal. Other airport facilities, such as the runway and Aerodrome Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) Building have likewise been restored.
The team then proceeded to Siargao Airport. Far from its sorry state back in December 2021 after Typhoon Odette leveled the airport to the ground, Siargao Airport is now back to normal operations.
With the improvements and completed rehabilitation work at the Surigao and Siargao Airport, air connectivity in the region is further assured to continue providing an improved quality of life for all.
The DOTr and the CAAP are set to formally reopen the Surigao and the Siargao airports before Duterte steps down from the presidency on June 30.