DOTr completes Zamboanga, Jolo airports rehab

Aviation Updates Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said Tuesday it is a “step closer” to boost air connectivity in Mindanao with the completion of the rehabilitation projects for the Zamboanga International Airport and Jolo Airport.

The Zamboanga and Jolo airport developments are in time for the resumption of air travel which was previously hampered by the travel restrictions imposed upon by national health authorities. The development project for the two main airports will significantly benefit the Zamboanga Peninsula and Sulu.

The project features the improvement of the passenger terminal buildings in Zamboanga and Jolo. Meanwhile, the installation of perimeter fences, runway extension, relocation and construction of the fire building, construction of the administration building, and correction of the runway strip width are all on-going projects in Sulu’s only airport.

“With the work we are doing, especially with the work the CAAP is continuing with, the aviation sector will surely recover. Ito’ hong mga proyektong ito ang paraan namin para sabihing we will get back on our feet, and we will do so by enhancing our mobility and connectivity,” DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said.

(This project of ours is our way of saying we will get back on our feet and we will do so by enhancing our mobility and connectivity.)

The DOTr eyes to rebuild and promote regional hubs to properly decongest Manila as its capital airport. To date, most flights to some international and local destinations originate solely from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA)

“We may have been hit hard by this pandemic, but we will always come up with strategic plans to help cushion its impact. Apart from our completed airport projects, we also have other on-going projects expected to be operational soon.” Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Director General Jim Sydiongco remarked.

He added: “These will surely contribute to our smooth transition, especially that we are promoting the use of regional airports to decongest NAIA,”

The transportation department also mentioned about the proposed location of the New Zamboanga International Airport. The Php 9.9 billion (approximate) airport project, which will be a highly significant improvement from the current aerodrome, will be located the Mercedes - Talabaan area.      

Photo from the Department of Transportation