HUMACAO – The Puerto Rico Ports Authority (APPR) reopened the Hermenegildo Ortiz Quiñones Regional Airport in Humacao, APPR executive director Joel A. Pizá Batiz announced today.
As explained by the Minister of Ports, the APPR will carry out a formal activity to reopen the facility at the end of this month, or at the beginning of next month.
Pizá Batiz detailed that on March 22, 2019, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ordered the closure of the Humacao regional airport, among other things, for security reasons, since both the runway and the Adjacent land presented problems for users, which, in some cases, had existed since Hurricane Maria in 2017.
“One month after receiving the closure order, the APPR submitted to the FAA a corrective action plan, with immediate, intermediate and long-term actions, to be able to reopen the airport. Corrective work began immediately, although the pandemic delayed some, ”said Pizá Batiz.
In addition to the corrective action plan submitted to the FAA, the reopening of the airport facility also involved the investment of more than $ 283,000 of the agency’s own funds in capital improvements, outlining a periodic maintenance and upkeep program for the airport, and developing a marketing plan to identify additional entry opportunities for the agency. From now on, the facility will continue to operate in general aviation and for the use of ultralight aircraft, or “ultralights”.
Capital improvements made to the Humacao Regional Airport include: perimeter / security fence repair / installation work; deep cleaning and ground leveling using heavy equipment around the airport facility; runway lighting system repaired; the drains were cleaned and the land was cleared at the edge of the runway, avoiding pools and consequently the possible presence of birds in the area; a new windsock was installed; Scarification of the end of the track was carried out, to then repave that section and make a totally new marking (signaling). An eventual total reconstruction of the track is planned.
With the collaboration of the Municipality of Humacao, the removal of debris and scrap metal began in the runway protection zone (“Runway Protection Zone”, or RPZ) adjacent to the airport property. The Municipality will also be removing the waste collection station (“Waste Transfer Station”) adjacent to the runway. In addition, debris left by María on the grounds of the facility was removed, added Pizá Batiz.
“We are very pleased to be able to reopen this important airport facility. We appreciate the hard work of the Port staff to make this possible. We remain committed to the southeast region and to the aviation industry, which can once again enjoy this airport, ”concluded Pizá Batiz.