Tawi-Tawi Airport Has Come of Age

5 January 2017

Gets 130 million for runway upgrade

Sanga Sanga Airport in Tawi Tawi secured another boost in airport infrastructure spending from the Transport Department (DOTr) after bidding out ₱130.756 million for runway widening and extension (7.5m x 1920m widening, +300m ext), part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s build, build, build infrastructure development program.

The runway improvement project is necessary to qualify the facility to international standards (2.1k x 45m) and upgrade its aerodrome type rating as it is the only class 2 airport in the Philippines with regular Airbus A320 operations.

The airport’s runway was earlier extended with the help of  United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through Growth for Equity (GEM) Program which invested ₱33 million for runway extension and airport development. Extension works began in 2005 from 1,608 to 1,920 meters in 2009, and widened it from 18 to 30 meters.

10k liters Sides VMA105 ARFF Equipment Upgrade (Cat 6)

The extension project was supported by DOTr and CAAP which contributed ₱43 million for runway shoulder grade correction, ₱9 million for terminal renovation and expansion, and another ₱5 million for perimeter fencing. Another ₱10 million was contributed by the local government units of Bongao and Tawi Tawi for lot acquisitions and fencing. The 2005 airport expansion cost 100 million in total.

The project was supposed to be followed by a ₱63.9 million new passenger terminal building and apron construction scheduled to start in 2012 but lot acquisition problems has delayed its project implementation.

The 100 million Sanga Sanga Airport improvement completed in 2009 was part of the mothballed 1997 Third  Airports Development  Project of the Asian Development Bank with a price tag of $93 million covering Puerto  Princesa, Butuan, Dipolog, Cotabato, and Pagadian, which were not implemented because of lot acquisition problems and delays.

Cebu Pacific started jet operation at the Sanga-Sanga airport in October 2011 utilizing Airbus 319.   It has since upgraded the service to A320-200 with up to 3x daily services to Zamboanga during peak times.

The airport broke the 120,000 passenger traffic mark in 2016.

Sanga Sanga Airport Masterplan. Source: DOTr

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