Landowners near NegOr airport OK tree-cutting for safe airspace

Allan Punay, CAAP Dumaguete-Sibulan airport manager explains why some structures and trees pose danger to aircraft coming to Negros Oriental.* Judy Flores Partlow/PNA photo

Trees inside 18 private lands in the vicinity of the Dumaguete-Sibulan airport in Negros Oriental will be cut or trimmed to allow for safe airspace.

Allan Punay, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) airport manager, said Wednesday, September 27, that after several negotiations, the property owners were finally convinced to have the trees cut or trimmed and will be provided remuneration.

“In coordination with Sibulan Mayor Jose Pepe Abiera and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, we talked to these owners recently, and they signed an agreement with computations as to how much they will be receiving for each tree cut or trimmed,” Punay said.

The trees have long posed a problem to aircraft, especially bigger ones that currently do not land anymore coming from the western portion of the runway, Punay noted.

There are currently a maximum of eight flights a day at the Dumaguete-Sibulan airport, which can now accommodate up to 13 flights, both during day and nighttime, the CAAP manager said.

Meanwhile, Punay said there will be no more extension or improvement works at the current airport, owing to the international airport to be built in Bacong town, about 15 minutes south of Dumaguete City.

About 50 to 60 percent of the land acquisition in Bacong has already been met and hopefully, by next year, a loan agreement signing will be done for the new airport as undertaken by the Department of Transportation, he added.*PNA

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