An aviation official said on Friday that the new San Vicente airport in Palawan may possibly cater to charter flights in the third quarter of this year.
“We are now finalizing the procedures so we can initially open it for non-scheduled charter flights,” Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Deputy Director General Rodante Joya said in an interview.
Joya was referring to the two-kilometer runway that was built in the municipality of San Vicente, which is home to a 14-kilometer long beach said to be the longest stretch of fine, white sand in the country.
This airport project is part of the flagship tourism zone which requires the tripartite involvement of the Department of Tourism-Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (DOT-TIEZA), the local government and the private sector.
In 2014, the government committed some Php300 million for the improvement of the San Vicente airport which is only 15 minutes away from the Zone.
Joya said that this project is expected to boost tourist arrivals in the country.
“The objective is to develop government tourism project in the area so that more tourists can fly direct to the area,” Joya said.
The CAAP official said that if the airport does open sometime in the third quarter, it will be initially cater to propeller-driven aircraft such as ATR.
“Initially, it will be open to charted flights, then when it improves we can allow scheduled flights and installation of air navigation equipment,” he said. (PNA) SCS/ANP