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Tugade orders immediate rehab of Zamboanga airport

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Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade has ordered the immediate rehabilitation of Zamboanga International Airport (ZIA) after expressing dismay over what he saw when he made a surprise visit Sunday, March 11.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) chief directed the immediate procurement of gang chairs for the passengers and a new baggage carousel to facilitate efficient baggage handling.

While the P160-million budget for asphalt overlay for the runway has been awarded already to the winning bidder, Tugade told the ZIA officials to repair in the meantime the potholes to ensure the safety of the aircraft and the passengers during landing and take off.

During the inspection, he noticed multiple potholes as deep as two inches from end of runway 09 to runway 27.

He also vowed to closely coordinate with the National Housing Authority (NHA) for the relocation of informal settlers near the airport.

He also directed the airport officials to ensure that the handling area of Cebu Pacific Cargo becomes restricted and not open.

Tugade warned the airport personnel that if the problem at ZIA would not be fixed when he conducts similar inspection in the future, he would make sure that heads would roll.

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