MAKATI CITY (MindaNews/14 February) — Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental will have to wait until November this year for the completion of its navigational system, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) told local officials and traders from Cagayan de Oro on Wednesday night.
CAAP deputy director general Rodante Joya met with Mayor Oscar Moreno and members of the Cagayan de Oro Chamber of Commerce and Industry at the sidelines of the business forum “Connect and Do Business in Cagayan de Oro” at the Intercontinental Hotel in Makati City Wednesday night.
CAAP, the Department of Transportation and Communications, Moreno and the Oro Chamber held the meeting behind closed doors, and reporters were not allowed inside.
“De Hoya told us the Korean contractor, SKY-KR Consortium, for the Air Navigation System and Support Facilities asked for an extension in the project implementation to November this year,” Moreno told reporters after the meeting.
The lack of navigational aid had hampered operations at Laguindingan Airport, which opened on June 15, 2013 and is considered the premier airport in Northern Mindanao.
When a low pressure area which later developed into tropical depression Agaton hit Mindanao for three weeks last month, airline companies were forced to cancel 12 of the 21 daily flights in Laguindingan Airport, the Oro Chamber said in its report.
Moreno said de Joya told them the Korean contractor reasoned that the daily operations in Laguindingan Airport have limited their time to install the navigational system.
“The Korean contractors complained they can only work at night and have to stop when morning comes to give way to the daily flight operations,” Moreno said.
He said they and CAAP agreed to study two options that may solve the problem.
The first option, he said, is to give incentives to SKY-KR Consortium so it can get more workers and equipment for the job.
Moreno said the second option was to transfer the passenger operations back to Lumbia but he said this proposal would be “expensive.”
“Lumbia is out of the question. Transferring back to the old airport requires three-month preparation,” he said.
The mayor said they would prefer the first option since the incentives can be sourced from savings in the construction of the airport.
He said they would have to provide an independent consultant to monitor the progress of work if the option to give incentives pushed through. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)