Laguindingan Airport opens April 30

CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews/16 April)—It’s all systems go for the transfer of airport operations here to the new Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental on April 30.

Employees of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) at the Lumbia Airport here were seen Monday making an inventory of their office equipment and planning how and when to transfer their bulky office supplies to the new airport, which is about 50 kilometers away.

Outside the CAAP office at the Lumbia Airport here, at least 100 jobseekers lined up at the security guard booth, which serves as an information office of the aviation office.

The job seekers were eyeing to land jobs  for 106 positions being offered by CAAP to man the Laguindingan Airport.

The incoming tenants of the Lumbia Airport — the Philippine Air Force (PAF) 15th Strike Wing’s aircraft and personnel  — were eager to occupy their new home.

Yesterday, a delegation of PAF officers was seen inspecting the facilities of Lumbia Airport.

The PAF 15th Strike Wing, with its 30 planes, will transfer its headquarters from Sangley Point in Cavite to Lumbia Airport after April 30.

“We are all set to go. President Aquino had already announced that the new Laguindingan Airport will be open for business on April 30, “ CAAP regional director Naga Rasal said.

He noted that the last commercial passenger plane serving this city and neighboring areas will land in Lumbia on April 29.

Rasal said that concerned government agencies have held numerous meetings to smoothen the transfer of operations from Lumbia to Laguindingan Airport.

“Everything has been discussed and every problem has been given a solution,” Rasal said.

He said that even “erroneous issues” like the claims that the Laguindingan runway is shorter by 200 meters,  were already answered in the various media forums held in here in the past weeks.

“The solution to his problem was all airline companies have agreed to double their plane [flights] during the daylight hours in Laguindingan,” Rasal said.

He pointed out that operations in the new Laguindingan Airport will be limited from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. only.

The reason for this is that the new radar system that can accommodate night flights will be  fully operational only in 2014, he said.

The limited operations for the Laguindingan Airport are the major reasons why many business traders balked on the idea of the early opening on April 30.

In a statement, the Cagayan de Oro Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. said the limited operations in Laguindingan Airport will cut the daily commercial passenger flights to just eight from 28. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)