‘Premature’ airport opening alarms NorMin biz groups-A A +A
Monday, February 25, 2013
THE business community in Northern Mindanao expressed alarm over what its members claim a “premature” opening of the Laguindingan (International) Airport in Laguindingan town, Misamis Oriental in April 2013.
In a statement, the Cagayan de Oro Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation (Oro Chamber), Iligan Chamber of Commerce Inc. (ICCI), Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry-Northern Mindanao (PCCI-NM), Misamis Oriental Fil-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MOFCCCI), backed up by the Regional Development Council (RDC), said the planned opening has to be deferred pending commissioning of the airport’s air navigation and support services facilities (ANSSF).
The business groups’ unified resolution for the matter was resolved after the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) released announcement that it has finalized April 30 as the opening schedule of the facility.
They said the Laguindingan Airport does not have the needed ANSSF, including road and transport infrastructures, to effectively motor passengers from Cagayan de Oro, Bukidnon, Iligan, Misamis Oriental and other provinces.
The alliance of business groups in Northern Mindanao also noted that using the Visual Flight Rules (VFR), instead of ANSSF does not guarantee the safety of the airport users even as they believe that operating the airport without the appropriate navigational facilities will also greatly limit the operational capability of the Laguindingan Airport.
“Whereas, the business community in the City of Cagayan de Oro and Northern Mindanao Region is fully cognizant and appreciative of the importance of the forthcoming opening of the Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental;
Even the people of Cagayan de Oro, Iligan and the surrounding areas are likewise expectant of the opening of the Laguindingan Airport, fully aware of the importance of such a vital infrastructure project and the benefits it would give to the region as its next window of competitiveness;
(However), the limited operating hours resulting from VFR operations will reduce the number of flights to and from Cagayan de Oro and will have a negative impact on the economy and business activities in the city and the surrounding areas not to mention the impact on tourism in the area and economic losses of about 70 percent,” the group’s resolution said.
Meanwhile, for an effective and sustainable airport operation, the business groups and civil society groups are calling for the privatization of the management and operation of the Laguindingan airport.
The concerned groups even requested a dialogue with the DOTC to organize a group in Cagayan de Oro that could discuss the potentials of both Laguindingan and Lumbia airports.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on February 26, 2013.