THE air passenger traffic has significantly increased in the three airports in Northern Mindanao last year.
In a report showed by the National Economic Development Authority-Northern Mindanao (Neda) for the fourth quarter and Annual (2015-2016) Regional Economic Situationer, the region recorded an increase of 7.2 percent in the number of incoming and outgoing passengers.
All three airports posted positive performance, with Camiguin airport recorded the highest increase at 22.2 percent, Ozamis Airport came next at 14.4 percent increase, and Laguindingan airport placed third at six percent.
Commercial flights in the region also substantially improved by 10.4 percent bouyed by about 11 percent and 25 percent increases recorded in Laguindingan and Camiguin airports, respectively.
According to Neda, the improvement could be attributed to the additional number of night flight operations in 2016, particularly in Laguingingan airport.
The volume of cargoes handled in 2016 reduced by 13 percent, which the Neda attributes to the 16.3 percent reduction in Laguindingan airport.
The Laguindingan airport already increased its share of cargoes handled from 83 percent in 2015 to 85 percent today, however, there is still a reduction in cargo handles.
For port traffic in the region, Neda noted an increase by 3.2 percent in 2016 compared in 2015.
Cagayan de Oro port registered a rise of about 20 percent, however, the Iligan base port recorded a reduction of 7.5 percent, which the Neda said, was due to the absence of two ships.
More foreign vessels docked at the Iligan base port, increasing port calls by about 92 percent, as well as in Ozamis base port with 41 percent increase in 2016 compared to that of 2015.
Also, the total volume of cargoes handled in the three major ports of the region registered an increase of 12 percent buoyed by the 7.2 percent and 49.8 percent increases in the domestic and foreign cargoes.
Both Cagayan de Oro and Ozamis base ports contributed largely to the rise in the total volume of cargoes of 13 percent and 15 percent, respectively.
Passenger traffic in the region's major seaports increased only by 0.57 percent in the same reference period, with Cagayan de Oro and Iligan base ports recorded positive performances, while the Ozamis base port registered negative performance.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 23, 2017.