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Long wait for GenSan airport completion turns to wish for ‘miracle’ by mayor

GENERAL SANTOS CITY—-The mayor of this city is waiting for a miracle and hoping for it to come, soon, in the form of the city airport’s completion.

“I do not know what miracle they can do,” said Mayor Ronnel Rivera, referring to the long delayed completion of the city airport.

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City officials had been told the airport expansion and improvement would be done by May, or in three months.

But its original completion target date was June 2019, or eight months ago.

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The P452-million project included terminal expansion, improvement and improvement of facilities for water supply system, navigational aid and power generation.

Construction timetable was set for two years, starting in April 2017, but work didn’t start on time.

The completion date had been adjusted to September 2019 but that target was also missed.

A catch-up plan was submitted by contractors resetting completion target date to May 2020. “We will follow this up,” said the mayor.

Contractors of the P452-million project were Vicente T. Lao Construction and C.B. Garay Philwide Builders Inc.

Since becoming operational in 1996, the city airport had not tasted any major repair or improvement work. The airport had been classified by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines as an alternative international airport.

But while lamenting over the delay of the airport project, the mayor said he welcomed the decision of budget airline Air Asia to mount flights to Cebu, Manila and Clark from this city.

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Rivera said the inclusion of General Santos in Air Asia’s routes is a sign of the growing economy and a relief for businessmen who had been complaining of cargo being bumped off.

Air Asia will start serving this city with daily flights to and from Cebu on March 29, and thrice-a-week flights to and from Clark on March 30.

The Manila-Gensan-Manila flight schedule will be announced at a later date, said Air Asia chief executive officer Ricky Isla.

Edited by TSB

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TAGS: airport, delay, GenSan, mayor, project
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