MASBATE CITY – Zest Air has resumed its daily flights between the island province of Masbate and Manila following the completion last week of the rehabilitation works of the Emilio R. Espinosa Sr. Domestic Airport (EREDA) here.
As of Tuesday, there was no word yet from Air Philippines when it will resume daily flights in the route, according to Josefina Nuñez, the local head of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) managing the airport.
Nuñez said EREDA was formally reopened last July 1 after two months of closure that gave way to the major repair works on its runway and other facilities.
The original schedule of the completion of the works was only one month from April 27 but it was delayed for over a month due to the strict compliance with quality standards required by the present management of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) on its contractors, Nuñez said.
The repairs which were part of the infrastructure projects of the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) involves asphalt overlaying of portions of the runway and the damaged section of the pavement, Nuñez said.
As an added safety measure, the CAAP also designated Masbate a “one-way airport” for all carriers which means takeoffs would be toward the sea while landings should come from the opposite direction to prevent a repeat of a landing accident that involved an Asian Spirit passenger aircraft which overshot the runway in January 2008, Nuñez said. Masbate airport, classified as a minor commercial domestic airport by the Air Transportation Office (ATO), is complementing the budding tourism industry of the province known for its “Rodeo Masbateño,” the only rodeo show in Asia celebrated annually in April.
Masbate also boasts of its manta rays sanctuary at the waters of Ticao Pass, Pawa Mangrove Nature Park, and the Buntod Sand Bar and Marine Sanctuary.
The Coastal Resource Management Interpretative Center (CRMIC) of the city, being the first of its kind in the Philippines is a great staging point from which you can plan and begin a journey of discovery and exploration of the diverse and amazing natural and cultural wonders of Masbate like the Tatoo Island with an underground lagoon teeming with sea snakes and bats. (PNA)