Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Philippine President inaugurates new international airport in north

PGMA inaugurates San Fernando City, La Union airport

SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union (PND) – President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo inaugurated this afternoon the newly completed San Fernando City Airport (SFCA) and pledged to be the first passenger to contract a chartered international flight out of the SFCA next month.

The President announced her intentions during a briefing and tour of the SFCA’s facilities conducted by Poro Point Management Corporation (PPMC) director Mary Jane Ortega.

The President is set to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting with its dialogue partners China, Japan and Korea (more commonly known as ASEAN+3) from April 10 to 12 in Thailand and decided to use the SFCA as the jump off point for her trip to push for the province's tourism viability.

“I will fly out on Good Friday,” the President said visibly pleased that her “pet project” for the people of La Union was finally completed.

Transportation and Communications Secretary Leandro Mendoza, who accompanied the President for the inauguration said the President was very happy that the SFCA was finally operational because it will further boost the business, agricultural and tourism capability and viability of the province.

“Magandang development ito because access to and from the gateway to Northern Luzon particularly Baguio City, the Sacada area, the other parts of northern Luzon and to the province of La Union also is further boosted and will thus provide tourists, residents and businessmen greater ease to get here,” Mendoza said.

“At the same time, gateway ito for the other Asian-Pacific countries who want to use the SFCA as their entry point because this airport can accept international flights,” he added.

La Union Governor Manuel Ortega meanwhile said he was in state of “euphoria” over the President's visit to personally inaugurate the SFCA because “this is a red-letter day” and is a “milestone as far as the province of La Union is concerned.”

Built at a cost of P477,934,752.35, SFCA’s facilities can now accommodate Boeing 737 and Airbus 320 aircraft. International flights carrying tourists and businessmen from Hong Kong and such countries as China, Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam and Korea can fly in and out of the SFCA.

Construction began in May 2007 and was completed on February 1, 2009.

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