THE PANGASINAN provincial government is hopeful that the longstanding plan to upgrade the airport in Lingayen, currently used as a flying school, will soon be implemented following a promise from the Department of Transportation (DoTr) chief. “A commercial airport operating in Pangasinan is a big help to Pangasinenses. With this, tourists and visitors will travel directly here from their respective places,” Gov. Amado I. Espino III said in a statement after DoTr Secretary Arthur P. Tugade’s visit to the province last April 3. The statement quotes Mr. Tugade as saying, “We will push to do that (referring to the development of a commercial airport) because we know that you need it.” One the major components of the upgrade is the expansion of the runway to 1.63 kilometers (km) from the existing 1.17 kms. to accommodate commercial flights. Mr. Espino said an airport in Pangasinan would boost not just the tourism sector but the overall investment climate in one of the country’s biggest provinces in terms of population at more than three million.