ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar is optimistic that construction of a new P9.87-billion Zamboanga International Airport will be a priority of the national government.
Salazar said the transfer of the Zamboanga airport to a new site has been endorsed by the Mindanao Development Authority, the government panel tasked with setting an “integrated development framework” for Mindanao.
Salazar said MinDA has acknowledged that the current airport at Moret Field, situated in the boundaries of barangays of Baliwasan, Sta. Maria, and San Roque, is no longer viable for future expansion.
The city government had created a technical working group to assist the Department of Transportation on a feasibility study for the transfer to a new location between the barangays of Mercedes and Talabaan.
The transfer to a new 175-hectare site would make Zamboanga airport the largest in Mindanao.
Salazar thanked Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza, a former MinDA chairman, who made a commitment to elevate the airport transfer project to the National Economic and Development Authority.
Salazar said the city needs a new airport because of increasing air traffic and accelerating growth of the city as a gateway to other Association of Southeast Asian Nations member countries.
President Rodrigo Duterte has also promised the transfer will push through in response to an appeal for support by Zamboanga City Rep. Manuel Jose Dalipe of the Second District.