Runway repairs at Davao Airport wrap up ahead of schedule

Davao International Airport (DIA) has substantially completed its runway rehabilitation project, with normal flight operations set to resume earlier than initially targeted, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).

In a press release issued on May 8th, CAAP Area Center 11 announced that the remaining works on the runway were finished on May 7th, followed by an inspection to assess the completed asphalt overlay repair segments.

“Some portions need minor rectifications wherein works will be conducted during the daytime when there are no flights in close coordination with the air traffic control tower,” stated Rex Obcena, CAAP Area Center Manager.

The Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) for this project is scheduled to be lifted on May 9th, once all remaining concerns are adequately addressed. This marks an earlier completion compared to the original target date of May 31st.

Since April 8th, DIA’s runway has been closed for four hours daily, from midnight to 4 AM, to facilitate the rehabilitation process.

The project involved repairing a 1,200 square meter affected area, including the removal of damaged 2-inch thick asphalt pavement, application of an emulsified asphalt tack coat, laying of hot bituminous asphalt mixture, and repainting of existing runway markings.

However, concerns have been raised about the need for further improvements to the airport’s facilities and services.

According to a report in The Mindanao Times, Obcena admitted that no budget has been allocated yet for the airport’s rehabilitation under the CAAP Corporate Operating Budget (COB).

The funds remain under the control of the CAAP central office.

Lt. Col. Valentino Dionela, CAAP assistant director general in management service, stated that the DIA will have “a separate budget for its rehabilitation.”

Nonetheless, issues such as limited check-in counters, lack of priority lanes, inadequate restroom facilities, shortage of pushcarts and seating, and aging air handling units persist.

The Davao International Airport Authority (DIAA), established in 2021 to oversee the airport’s operations, has yet to appoint private sector representatives and is undergoing a transition process.

Several projects, including a passenger terminal building expansion and the implementation of biometric systems, are in the pipeline.

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