The resumption of commercial flights at the Cotabato Airport starting Sunday is expected to boost economic and tourism activities in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), a local business group said on Monday
In a statement, lawyer Roland Hallid-Torres, chairman of the Bangsamoro Business Council (BBC), said the resumption of the airport’s operations have beneficial effects on regional tourism and business activities, contributing to the region’s economic growth.
“This has a positive impact on the business sector as we will be able to go back to our usual operations that necessitate connectivity,” Torres said.
The airport, classified by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) as a major domestic airport, temporarily ceased operations from June 22 to Sept. 30, or some 100 days due to major runway repairs and rehabilitation of its passengers’ terminal building.
Cotabato Airport, also known as Awang Airport, is located in Barangay Awang, Datu Odin Sinsuat., Maguindanao del Norte. It serves the areas of Maguindanao del Sur, Maguindanao del Norte, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, and Lanao del Sur provinces, and the cities of Cotabato, Tacurong, and Kidapawan.
On Aug. 19, the airport resumed its operations but only for military and small private planes.
On Sunday morning, the first commercial aircraft of Cebu Pacific Air landed at the airport carrying passengers from Manila.
An hour later, the Manila-Cotabato Philippine Airlines flight landed with its passengers applauding as the aircraft came to a complete stop, Ministry of Tourism, Investment, and Trade Director-General Rosslaini Alonto-Sinarimbo said. (PNA)