Home » Aviation, Ports/Terminals, Press Releases » Aboitiz bags original proponent status for Laguindingan Airport

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Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc. (AIC), the infrastructure business unit of the Aboitiz Group, has been granted by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) the original proponent status (OPS) for its unsolicited proposal to upgrade, expand, operate, and maintain the Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental in northern Mindanao.

CAAP granted the OPS on February 26, according to Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. (AEV) in a statement on March 4.

The P42.7-billion project involves capacity augmentation by expanding the passenger terminals or constructing new ones, installing the required equipment, and enhancing and developing the airside facilities.

“The granting of the OPS for the Laguindingan Airport opens up an opportunity for us to play a major role in improving our country’s vital gateways,” AIC chief operating officer Cosette Canilao said.

“We believe we can be instrumental in connecting our country’s local economies, thereby uplifting the lives of Filipinos. We look forward to progressing beyond project development, and into project execution and operations in 2019,” she added

Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industries Region 10 governor Ghaye Alegrio welcomed the development, pointing out that expanding the airport is critical to the growth of investments and development of various industries in the region, particularly tourism.

“The airport is a very important factor. We are excited to know that Aboitiz got the OPS. It took us 20 years before this airport was built. We don’t want to wait another 20 years for its expansion,” Alegrio said.

She pointed out that the northern Mindanao area got the lion’s share of the country’s newly registered investments in 2018. “The Board of Investments (BOI) reported that BOI-registered companies last year was about P900 billion and 25% of that was in northern Mindanao,” she said.

The chamber is also promoting the region’s tourism with the introduction of new attractions and tourist spots like the Dahilayan Adventure Park in Bukidnon, which boasts Asia’s longest dual zipline, and the Seven Seas Waterpark in Misamis Oriental.

“There are five A’s for strategic investments: arrivals, access, accommodations, attractions, and activities. We might have the attractions and accommodations but we don’t have the arrivals,” Alegrio noted. She lamented the lack of proper infrastructure including airport and seaport, adding that such facilities are urgently needed for all these investments to go forward.

Based on statistics from CAAP, passenger traffic at Laguindingan Airport has been above the airport’s design capacity of 1.6 million passengers per year since the airport began operations in 2013. In 2018, an estimated two million passengers passed through this airport.

Alegrio noted that with more investments coming in, traffic at the airport is expected to further increase in the coming years. She added that there is a big opportunity to cater to international flights.

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