A commercial airline is willing to serve the Mati City, Davao Oriental to Cebu City direct flight.
This is revealed by Mati City Mayor Carlo Rabat in a recent interview saying commercial airline operations is possible in Mati National Airport formerly known as Imelda R. Marcos Airport is located in Dahican once the ongoing renovation and improvement of the old airport led by Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (Caap) will be done.
At present, the Mati airport cannot accommodate commercial flights, only chartered and light planes. It is not operating because its runway needs expansion and facilities need to be improved.
“We have an existing terminal nadyan, yong runway matagalnayan, nakakalandnamanmga C130 planes, private jets, small planes, I asked them (Caap), pwedenamandaw mag land angmga 80-seater planes,” he said.
He added that the ongoing airport renovation of the old airport is in anticipation for a commercial airline that intends to operate in the area.
“Maybe, once a week yung Cebu-Mati flight, let’s just see. The Matinians will certainly welcome a fully operational Mati City Airport," Rabat added.” the mayor said. He then quickly clarified that nothing is official yet.
He underscored that if the flight will push through, it will boost tourism in Mati City.
Davao Oriental Governor Nelson Dayanghirang said earlier that President Rodrigo Duterte also committed to help realize the plan of reviving the airport.
Early last year, a team from Caap conducted an ocular inspection a month after the meeting with the President.
The airport, which was constructed in 1970s, only has a 1,628.85-meter runway.
Furthermore, the airport’s terminal and apron sat on land owned by the Rabats, a political name in the city while the runway was on Rocamora family land.
Rabat explained that, at present, the land ownership of the airport will be transferred to Caap.
"Efforts are underway by both families to transfer the ownership of the airport to Caap," he said.