THE transportation department plans to further extend the runway of Maasin Airport in Southern Leyte to enhance the safety features of the aviation facility, whose new terminal was inaugurated on Monday.
Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade said he has instructed Transportation Undersecretary for Aviation and Airports Manuel Antonio Tamayo to extend the runway of Maasin Airport by 500 meters.
Another plan is to further upgrade the existing terminal to provide ease of transport to its passengers.
“In the future, we will upgrade the design of this terminal from being high-ceiling to air-conditioned. I also instructed Mr. Tamayo to extend the current length of the runway from 1.3 kilometers to 1.8 kilometers,” Tugade said.
Tugade led the opening of the new terminal of the Maasin Airport, bringing the total capacity of the airport from 50 passengers to 150 passengers at a time.
The upgrading of the facility transformed the former community airport to a principal second-class one, hence, it can “meet the increasing demands for air transport in the area.”
“In the past, this facility can only accommodate 50 passengers at a time. Now, with the new terminal, it can now accommodate up to 150 passengers at a time. Likewise, we have equipped the terminal with aluminum gang chairs,” Tugade said.
He added the new airport will “help stimulate economic activities in Southern Leyte, thereby promoting inclusive growth” in the area.
Operated by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, Maasin Airport is the only airport serving the region of Southern Leyte.
Five years ago, it served as an entry point for relief goods and medicine deliveries during the onslaught of Supertyphoon Yolanda.
Maasin City is seen as a “budding” tourism spot, boasting of a subterranean cave, a waterfall and a lagoon. It is also home to an 18th century church, which is a pilgrimage site, while its neighboring towns are known for their dive sites.