PHL eyes to complete repair of Pagasa Island runway in 2019

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that the target is to complete the beaching ramp in Pagasa Island this year for the repair of runway be implemented next year.

“Currently, they are trying to build the beaching ramp, we need the beaching ramp because without that, we cannot bring in equipment. We cannot bring in the bulldozers, the graders plus the materials to rebuild the runway,” Lorenzana said on Tuesday.

If the projections on the repair of Pagasa Island facilities run smoothly, a Philippine Air Force (PAF) C-130 aircraft will be able to land at the said island any day.

“Now the target for building the beaching ramp is December of this year so that by the whole of next year is repairing the runway. So by the end of 2019 we can bring the C130s there any day,” the defense chief said.

Secretary Lorenzana made the statement after US transferred Special Airborne Mission Installation and Response (SABIR) system, installed on PAF C-130 aircraft.

“The transfer of the SABIR system today, along with the Scan Eagle system this past March, and the C-208 aircraft in August 2017, represents our steadfast commitment to enhancing the capabilities of the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” said US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Y. Kim.

The SABIR, a bolt-on avionics module, upgrades the aircraft with advanced command and control, communications, computer, and surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities without sacrificing the aircraft’s primary function as a cargo plane.