US envoy, Beng lead runway inspection PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 15 November 2014 11:34

Mayor Beng Climaco joined US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg for a joint inspection of the runway repairs completed by the Joint Special Operations Task Force (JSOTF) at the Zamboanga International Airport yesterday afternoon.

In the simple ribbon-cutting ceremony unveiling the completed project, the chief executive expressed her gratitude to the American government for its support and assistance.

“We are very thankful for this lasting legacy,” said Climaco to the members of the JSOTF present, and Ambassador Goldberg who was in the City for the launch of several USAID projects.

This was followed by a brief visual inspection of the airfield repairs in the runway.

Joining Climaco and the US ambassador in the inspection were 3rd Air Division Commander Major General Emeraldo Magnaye, 530th Air Base Wing Commander Brigadier General Anselmo Junsay, and Zamboanga Airport manager Danilo Abareta.

The runway repair project, a Php 7.6 million undertaking of the JSOTF, patched damaged road surfaces in 70 individual locations in the runway for a total of 855 square meters of asphalt.

No civilian air traffic was interrupted in the duration of the repairs.

According to Joint Special Operations Air Detachment (JSOAD) Commander Lt. Col. Abe Friedman, the repairs will ensure the efficiency of airport services, and the safety of not only the aircrafts of the JSOTF and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, but also the approximately 900,000 passengers who fly commercially through the Zamboanga City airport.

The project is also a testament to the relationship and continuing partnership of the JSOTF and Zamboanga City. It will be recalled that Mayor Climaco personally appealed to former US Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr., and current US Ambassador Goldberg to help repair the airport’s runway.

The request for assistance was anchored on the fact that the American aircraft and servicemen participating in the military exercises with Filipino soldiers under “Balikatan” have been using the airport facilities especially the runway since the war games started few years ago. — Jasmine Mohammadsali