CONSTRUCTION of different buildings at the P7.853 billion (US$167.09 million) Laguindingan International Airport in Laguindingan town, Misamis Oriental are now in full swing, a report from Project Management Office (PMO) of the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) said.

As of July 18, the passenger terminal building is now 22.86 percent complete while the operation and control tower building is now 24.27 percent complete.

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Other structures at the airport such as the power house building is now 38.61 percent complete and the cargo terminal building now stood at 24.91 percent complete while the crash fire and rescue building is 28.95 percent complete.

The maintenance building, cold water receiving station, administration building, waste water treatment plant and other airport support facilities are also nearing completion through the efforts of contractor Hanjin Heavy Industries and Const. Co. Ltd.

Hanjin is in-charge of the airport's P5.279 billion worth of civil works and buildings, which include the 45-meter runway, taxiways A and B, main apron, the passenger terminal building, the operation and control tower building, power house building, cargo terminal building, maintenance building, cold water receiving station, administration building, waste water treatment plant, and other airport support facilities.

Construction of buildings and civil works at the airport started on January 18, 2008 and is expected to be finished by January 17, 2012.

For the air navigation system and support facilities, estimated to cost P743.399 million (US$15.817 million), implementation is set to start in the second quarter of 2010 and is expected to be finished by the second quarter of 2012.

The minutes of discussion (MOD) between the Korea Export-Import Bank and the Government of the Philippines for the air navigation system and support facilities was already signed on May 21, 2010 but bid documents are still being finalized by Yooshin Engineering Corp. in consultation with Kexim and DOTC Bids and Awards Committee.

Meanwhile, the access road leading to the airport is already finished while the DOTC is still in the process of paying the 2.99 hectares of land not yet acquired for the main airport. But the PMO said this land is outside the work area and will not affect the ongoing construction.

The Laguindingan International Airport, which sits in a 418.14 hectare area, is envisioned to be a new major trunkline airport to be constructed and operated based on the relevant standards and recommended practices of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). It aims to cater to the increasing aviation traffic demand not only in Northern Mindanao but the whole island of Mindanao.

The total project cost of the airport when it was approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (ICC-CC) on June 13, 1995 was pegged at P707.80 million (US$36.77 million) but was later revised to P7.853 billion (US$167.09 million).

The airport's total project cost is sourced from EDCF-Republic of Korea (US$30.60 million), KEXIM Bank Export Credit (US62.75 million), Government of the Philippines (US$60.36 million) and EDCF-ANSSFSP (US$13.38 million).