Negros airport ops irk CAAP chief
BY EUGENE Y. ADIONG
The Manila Times
BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental: The head of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has expressed disappointment over the security, management and maintenance of airport infrastructure after a recent inspection of the Bacolod-Silay Airport. Capt. Manuel Antonio Tamayo, director general of the CAAP, in a report posted on the official Facebook account of CAAP, said the state of the province is “not acceptable. that’s insulting.” Tamayo gave strict orders to airport staff to improve their running of the airport in order “to ensure that the airport’s equipment and facilities are safeguarded and maintained.” He said he acknowledges that the Bacolod-Silay International Airport “plays a vital role in facilitating travel to and from Negros Occidental and the Western Visayas region, contributing to tourism and economic growth in the area.” Despite his negative observations, Tamayo still committed P800 million for the development of the Bacolod-Silay Airport. Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson on Sunday urged CAAP to expand the existing terminal of the airport. “They should start with the comfort rooms (toilets),” Lacson said. While saying the lack of development of the province’ s major entry point has not affected local tourism, the governor also said, “We need to improve to meet international tourism [standards].” “Whatever it takes to meet international standards,” Lacson pointed out. In October last year, the Bacolod-Silay Airport were among the airports in the country targeted for development covered by a budget of P1 billion from the Department of Transportation. Lacson, however, did not want to comment on the observations of Tamayo during his inspection of the airport facilities last Thursday. “Let our CAAP manager reply to that,” he said. Tamayo was accompanied by Deputy Director General for Administration lawyer Danjun Lucas, Aerodrome Development and Management Service Assistant Director General 2 Col. Valentino Dionela-Armed Forces of the Philippines (ret), Intelligence and Investigation Division Acting Division Chief 3 Brig. Gen. Dionisio Robles-AFP (ret), Art Balderas of the Transportation Project Management Office, and other officials and technical experts. Tamayo assessed the airport’s infrastructure, facilities and overall maintenance practices. The inspection was aimed to ensure that the airport maintains the highest standards of maintenance and operational excellence. “With the inspection, CAAP reiterates its dedication to upholding the highest standards of aviation safety and efficiency nationwide, guaranteeing a safe and enjoyable travel experience at all airports in the Philippines,” the agency said.