CALAYAN, Cagayan—The beauty of the islands in this town of Calayan will soon reveal itself to the eyes of adventure lovers, as tourists can travel to Calayan by air as soon as P241 million worth of air transportation infrastructure is completed.
The airport, which is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2017, was funded by an appropriation allotted to the Department of Tourism.
The Bagabag Airport in Nueva Vizcaya recently opened its runway to commercial flights after 16 years of hibernation.
Calayan airport would be the second airport to open in the Cagayan Valley Region this year as President Rodrigo Duterte aggressively pursues his objective to “build, build, build” more infrastructure.
Vice Mayor Edmund Escalante said the new airport would serve as an “alternative transport facility” to improve economic activities and tourism in the chain of islands in the Babuyan Channel, a sea passage located between Cagayan and Batanes provinces.
“It is a dream come true for all Calayanos to be witnessing soon the maiden flight of the first aircraft to land at the Calayan Airport this year,” Escalante said.
With a population of more than 17,000 people, the town of Calayan is made up of four of the five major islands in the Babuyan Channel—Calayan proper, Camiguin, Dalupiri, and Babuyan Island.
Fuga, the fifth island in the Channel, is part of the town of Aparri.
Access to Calayan is by outrigger boats sailing from the ports of Aparri, Claveria, or Santa Ana towns. From Manila, tourists can take the plane to Tuguegarao airport or bus and take a van or a bus to Aparri, Claveria, or Santa Ana.
In the San Vicente port in Santa Ana, boats to Calayan Islands leave at 6 in the morning. The boat trip takes about seven hours depending on the calmness of the sea.
“The Calayan Airport is a long-desired transport facility in the island and we hope that we can secure the necessary permit from the Civil Aviation Authority so that we could start the airport operation as soon as it is ready,” Escalante added.