DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 01 October) – Residents of Cotabato City and Maguindanao no longer have to go on a long drive to the Davao International Airport or the General Santos City airport to fly to Manila or elsewhere, as commercial flights to and from Cotabato City have resumed effective Sunday, October 1, after a hundred-day closure for extensive runway rehabilitation.
Located in Awang, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao del Norte, the airport closed on June 22 and resumed operations but only for military and private planes on August 19, and commercially on October 1.
A Cebu Pacific flight from Manila was the first to land at the airport on Sunday at 9 a.m.
Director Hanamir Emblawa, OIC Director of the Bangsamoro Airport Authority had earlier announced that the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippine had issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) to resume commercial flight operations by October 1.
The resumption of flights in Cotabato City benefits not only residents of that city and neighboring areas, but also residents of Davao and General Santos.
Since the closure of the Cotabato City airport, prices of airline tickets had skyrocketed due to high passenger demand as travelers from Cotabato City and neighboring areas flew in or out of the Davao or GenSan airports, some even proceeding to the Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental near Cagayan de Oro City.
In his message at the airport rites on Sunday morning, Transportation Minister Paisalin Tago, said the resumption of operations of the Cotabato Airport was an answered prayer.
He said Bangsamoro officials like him and their staff have had to go to the airports in Davao or GenSan, and even Laguindingan, to catch a flight. (MindaNews)