By Antonio Manaytay
Ipil Airport will commence its operation upon completion of the construction of “fire station, control tower, apron extension, and removal of runway obstructions. There is no definite date set, however, when these requirements are fulfilled especially removing the obstructions.
In its social media post, Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officer Felix Badon said his office together with the representatives from the Office of the Mayor, Municipal Engineering Office, and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) had conducted “ocular inspections” of the airport.
Badon said the new airport will operate after the completion of its “fire station, control tower, apron extension, and removal of runway obstructions.”
The three additional airport structures could be a walk in the park except for the obstructions to the runway.
Asked what these obstructions are, Badon identified the trees and “structures like the roof of covered court, (provincial) hospital building, street lights, communication tower, power line, and houses more than two-storey.”
The hill and new hotel near Ipil airport may also be either “trimmed or removed.”
The National Building Code requires clearance from the Air Transportation Office (ATO) before any issuance of a building permit by the local government unit.
Under Rule VII of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Code, all building constructions “within the four-kilometer radius of the runway ends of an aerodrome regardless of height” of the building shall secure the ATO clearance.
The new five-storey Victoria King Hotel is near the vicinity of the airport. Several hotels, including the two-storey Sibugay Grand Plaza Hotel and four-storey Jackie’s Hotel, are within the four-kilometer radius from the airport.
Commercial establishments at the Poblacion, the center of commerce, lie within the four-kilometer radius.
Located within the two-kilometer radius is the six-storey building of Sibugay Technical Institute (STII).
A source privy to the release of building permits, the Municipal Engineering Office (MEO) had not required an ATO clearance from building permits applicants.
The case of the New Victoria Hotel is a special concern. Located just a stone throw away from the Ipil airport, the five-storey hotel could be an aviation hazard.
The hotel has allegedly not sought the ATO clearance, an unnamed source said.
Municipal Engineer Carlito Culanculan, Jr. has yet to return the message sent to him.
Badon clarified that his office has to facilitate the issuance of tree cutting permit, identification, and markings.
About the issue of structures, he said, the task belongs to the municipal engineer. (Featured Image: Felix Badon/ Facebook)
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