Lawmaker wants Lumbia airport reopened

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Friday, January 24, 2014


HEEDING the sentiments of airline passengers and the business sector affected with the flight cancellations at Laguindingan airport in Misamis Oriental during the two weeklong heavy downpour in the region, city councilor Leon Gan Jr. will propose to the City Council next week to consider the reopening of Lumbia airport for commercial flights.

During heavy rains brought by Tropical Depression Agaton in Mindanao, many airlines cancelled flights due to very low visibility which won’t allow pilots to land the plane.

Gan said the low pressure area and the tropical depression tested the airport’s capacity to operate in which it failed to meet the standards and gained public criticism.

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Gan insisted that without navigational lights to support, even a simple rain could hamper an airplane’s landing at Laguindingan.

Lawyer Charissa Kay Abanil was disappointed with Laguindingan airport operations.

Abanil said her flight was cancelled twice last week, but due to important matters to attend here, she was forced to re-route her trip to Davao yesterday and took the last bus for Cagayan de Oro.

City councilor Lourdes Candy Darimbang said the absence of air navigational facilities, which are very essential to the airport's operations, should have been acted upon immediately by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).

Darimbang said the cancelled flights resulted to tremendous losses in local economy and limiting the influx of tourists and investors in the city and other affected cities and provinces as well as the revenues of affected airline companies and passengers.

“This immediate concern should have been the top priority of CAAP that could have prevented the delays, hassles and difficulties experienced by almost everyone,” Darimbang said.

Darimbang also urged the Department of Transportation and Communications to fast track the complete installation of this vital equipment to remedy these problems that the local government and its constituents are facing now.

Engr. Jose Budiongan told Sun.Star Cagayand de Oro that installation of the navigational equipment is ongoing and it is expected to be completed before 2014 ends. He said the navigational equipment cannot guarantee that in an inclement weather like the past two weeks planes could land.

“It is still the visibility that matters, even if you have the landing instruments if visibility is way below the minimum requirement, aircrafts won’t land,” Budiongan said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on January 24, 2014.

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