Home » Aviation, Ports/Terminals » Laguindingan airport may see night flights by Dec
Leon Dacanay Jr,

Leon Dacanay Jr, Region 10 director of the National Economic and Development Authority, at the recent Mindanao Shipping Conference

The Laguindingan International Airport in Misamis Oriental is expected to accommodate night flights by December, Leon M. Dacanay, Jr., Region 10 director of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), said on the sidelines of the PortCalls-organized Mindanao Shipping Conference in Cagayan de Oro City on June 18.

Air navigational facilities are now being installed at the airport, Dacanay said, which could significantly bring up the daily frequency to the Northern Mindanao gateway. The Laguindingan airport is currently served by Philippine Airlines (four flights in and out) and Cebu Pacific Air (seven flights).

Meanwhile, the airport will see further improvement following approval of its P14.62-billion operation and maintenance (O&M) program on June 19 by the National Economic and Development Board Board, chaired by President Benigno Aquino III.

The O&M program aims to improve the airport’s capacity and upgrade its facilities and equipment to international standards through a public-private partnership arrangement. Concession period for the airport is 30 years, from 2015 to 2044, including construction.

The Laguindingan International Airport was officially inaugurated in June 2013. It replaced the Cagayan de Oro Airport or Lumbia Airport which had served as a large catchment area for Northern Mindanao and now functions as a minor air base for the Philippine Air Force.

Dacanay noted that handing over the gateway’s O&M to the private sector would improve efficiency. “We see the private sector as better business-minded. Sometimes it’s not good for government to go into that business,” he said.

“The terms of reference are already there,” Dacanay said, adding that the Department of Transportation and Communications is “in the process of bidding it out.”

Dacanay noted that it was the Regional Development Council (RDC), composed of governors, mayors, regional agencies and the private sector, that pushed for the construction of a Northern aviation gateway more than 10 years ago. NEDA Region 10 acts as the RDC’s secretariat.

Aside from the O&M project, Dacanay said the RDC is also seeking to make improvements on the airport’s terminal building and lengthen the runway, the bidding for which is expected within the year. – Text and photo by Roumina Pablo

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