Tuesday, 30 January 2024 05:48


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Two resolutions were filed by the 20th Cagayan de Oro City Council calling on the national government to fast track the upgrading of the Laguindingan airport in Misamis Oriental province.
In a special report delivered during Monday afternoon’s regular session, Councilor Edgar Cabanlas said the Laguindingan airport had been overtaken by other airports in the country long after its facilities were transferred from Lumbia airport in Cagayan de Oro City.
Development of the Laguindingan airport began in the early 90s but was only completed in 2013. ‘If you see the conditions of Laguindingan airport, it should have been the best airport in Mindanao. For me it should have been better than the airport in Davao, but we’ve had no improvements especially when compared to other airports like that in Cebu. This is the common complaint now (of thousands of passengers trooping to Laguindingan airport),’ Cabanlas said in his report.
Serving the cities of Cagayan de Oro, Iligan and Marawi and the provinces of Misamis Oriental, Lanao del Norte and Bukidnon, the Laguindingan airport is located 46 kilometers away from Cagayan de Oro City. It replaced the city’s Lumbia airport which now houses a Philippine Air Force base and Maria Christina Airport in Iligan City.
Aside from reiterating the City Council’s position on the issue, Councilor Cabanlas filed another resolution asking the Provincial Board of Misamis Oriental to support their call for the Laguindingan airport’s expansion.
For his part, Councilor Ian Mark Nacaya proposed that the council’s public utilities committee invite the agencies concerned for updates on the project. ‘We could invite representatives of the regional CAAP (Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines) for their output and see if the Laguindingan airport can be expanded to accommodate flights from Laguindingan to, let’s say Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore,’ Nacaya said.
The Laguindingan airport can accommodate 2,000 passengers daily or 1.6 million passengers annually. However, Cabanlas noted that the airport’s facilities and passenger capacity cannot keep up with the growing number of travelers coming from even nearby Caraga region as the airport now averages 5,000 passengers daily.
‘Even if passengers arrive as early as 4 am to 5 am, the airport is already cramped,’ he said in Visayan.
The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) recently confirmed that the airport’s operations and maintenance contract may be awarded in May this year. It also confirmed the bidding to challenge the unsolicited proposal of Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc. under the Swiss Challenge system of the government’s newly enacted public private partnership (PPP) code. (Stephen Capillas of City Information Office)