Bantayan airport’s opening seen to boost island’s tourism industry

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | November 27,2020 - 01:37 PM

One of the first planes that ferry the first tourists arriving by air in Bantayan Island lands at the Bantayan Island airport. | Morexette Marie B. Erram

BANTAYAN ISLAND, Philippines — Bantayan Island, one of Cebu’s most popular tourist destinations, is now accessible by air.

Officials both from the national and local governments on Friday, November 27, inaugurated the upgraded Bantayan Island Airport.

The ceremonial opening marked the completion of extending its 900-meter runway to 1.2 kilometers, and its own terminal to accommodate commercial flights.

Read: In Photos: Bantayan Airport project now 50% complete – Dicdican

The event also welcomed three maiden flights by different airline companies, which departed from the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA).

The opening of the upgraded Bantayan Island Airport meant that traveling to the island would be reduced from the usual five hours by bus and ferry to approximately 30 minutes by air. 

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque was also present during the inauguration together with Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, Presidential Assistant to the Visayas Michael Lloyd Dino, MCIA Authority General Manager Steve Dicdican, Department of Tourism in Central Visayas (DOT-7) Director Shalimar Talino, and the mayors from the three towns — Salvador Dela Fuente (Madridejos), Ethamar Espinosa (Santa Fe), and Arthur Despi (Bantayan).

The project of upgrading the community airport in Santa Fe town, Bantayan Island began in June 2019, which was spearheaded by the Capitol and MCIAA. 

In separate speeches, Garcia and Dicdican looked forward to the speedy recovery of Bantayan Island’s tourism industry. 

The opening of the commercial airport will be followed by the Capitol’s Suroy-Suroy Sugbo in Bantayan called SMB Escapade, which stood for Santa Fe-Madridejos-Bantayan. /dbs

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