THE Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) is planning to turn the Bantayan Island Airport into a “commercial tourism airport” so that it can accommodate big commercial aircraft for tourists wanting to visit the northern islands of Cebu Province.
This was raised during MCIAA’s board meeting on Thursday, May 6, 2021, which was led by MCIAA’s Chairman of the Board and Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade.
According to Sugbo News, the MCIAA passed several resolutions to upgrade the Bantayan Island Airport, including widening its runway from 18 meters, the standard for a community airport, to 30 meters, the standard for a commercial airport.
Tugade said that there is a need to upgrade the Bantayan Island Airport to respond to the increasing number of tourists wanting to visit Bantayan, Madridejos, and Santa Fe.
He said that the Department of Transportation will help look for funds for the upgrades. He also said that the MCIAA is targeting the first quarter of 2022 to accomplish the upgrades.
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Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia said that the upgrades will result in a huge positive impact for the Bantayan Island, one of the biggest tourist destinations in Cebu Province.
There is already a commercial airline expressing interest to fly to Bantayan once its airport is upgraded, said Garcia.
“Think of what it can do when we cut travel time. We will have regularly scheduled flights to Bantayan once it is upgraded into a tourism airport. I do believe that this will happen,” said Garcia in a Sugbo News broadcast report.
The Bantayan Island Airport has a 1.2-kilometer runway that can accommodate turboprop planes.
Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Secretary Michael Dino said that apart from flights coming from MCIA, flights from other areas outside Cebu, such as from Manila, will also bring in more tourists for the Bantayan Island. (NRC, PR)