Leyte 4th District Rep. Richard Gomez has asked the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to help the city encourage airline companies to serve the Manila-Ormoc route.
Gomez told reporters on Thursday night that he recently met with Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista to open take-off and landing slots for Ormoc Airport.
“The secretary committed to send letters to airline companies in response to our request. Whatever presentation we have, if the DOTr will not open slots, we will not be able to invite commercial flights here,” Gomez said.
He said the airport’s operation will not just benefit Ormoc City and nearby towns in northwest Leyte, but also passengers from Biliran province.
In 2019, the DOTr said the presence of world-class tourism destinations in the western part of Leyte province has convinced the central government to develop the airport to attract commercial flights.
The airport’s total area has been expanded from 150 to 1,350 square meters.
The Ormoc Airport’s 2,042m x 36m runway underwent developments from 2018 to 2020 such as asphalt overlay and strip grade correction project and runway widening.
Developments included the renovation of the passenger terminal building destroyed by Super typhoon Yolanda in 2013, as well as the construction of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines administration building.
The city is just 61 kilometers away from the famous Kalanggaman Island in Palompon, Leyte.
Currently, tourists from Luzon visit the island through the airport in Tacloban City, which is about 120 kilometers away. (PNA)