MULTI-SECTORAL representatives during two public consultations held in Cagayan de Oro last week and Tuesday would have to accept their defeat, as the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (Caap) closed talks on whether or not it is timely to start the operation of the Laguindingan (International) Airport on April 30, 2013, amid calls to delay it due to safety concerns.
Caap’s Engr. Raul G. Glorioso, who presided the public hearings, assured public twice a “101-percent” safety.
Glorioso said although there are limitations on flights using the visual flight rules (VFR) but it is tried and tested. VFR, Regino V. Hofilena, Caap’s chairperson of the committee on fees and charges, earlier told SunStar Cagayan de Oro that VFR “means as far as your eyes can see.”
The business groups and most multi-sectoral groups in Northern Mindanao had tried blocking the scheduled opening even as they signed a joint manifesto to call on the government to postpone the “premature” airport operation on said date.
They said flying passengers would be uncomfortable with the VFR. The Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) instead apply the most modernized air navigational facilities to ensure the safety of the airport users, they added.
At the second consultation forum Tuesday, Cagayan de Oro Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation (Oro Chamber) executive director Lordelie Enjambre told Caap to ensure that there will be no cancelled flights using the traditional flight rules.
Enjambre said two speakers of the chamber’s business forums in Cagayan de Oro failed to make it to the gathering after their flights were cancelled due to claimed flight zero visibility.
Glorioso said airport authority declares flight cancellation should zero visibility is detected 200 meters above.
The installation of modernized air navigational facilities takes one year, he added.
Lawyer Ade S. Fajardo, committee member, at the public hearing told the crowd: “We will do our best.
“There is already a formal advice from the DOTC to Caap (that we need to implement). Rest assured all your concerns...we’ll course it through the Caap board,” he said.
He even appealed to the crowd saying: “From resistance to cooperation.”
Meanwhile, public hearing attendees expressed support to Caap’s terminal fees—P700 for international flights and P200 for domestic flights.