Don Carlos is best choice for Bukidnon airport

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews / 6 Aug) – The final choice for the site of the proposed Bukidnon domestic airport is the one in Maray-maray in the municipality of Don Carlos, according to a representative of the aviation consulting firm contracted by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).

Grace P. Sapuay, environmental specialist of the Philippine Japan Aviation and Airport Engineering Consultancy, Inc. (Phil.Jac), told MindaNews Monday that after applying the multi-criteria analysis (MCA), the planners found out that the site in Don Carlos is the best in terms of landing, takeoff, and terrain requirements.

Sapuay is in town to do the environmental assessment as part of the feasibility study for the proposed airport. She said their firm is due to submit its report on August 26.

Last April, Raul Glorioso, department manager of the CAAP aerodrome engineering unit, told MindaNews the proposed project is still at the feasibility study stage expected to be done this month. After which, he added, they will be ready with recommendations and fund sourcing.

He said three sites were being considered for the airport – an airstrip in the municipality of Don Carlos, another area in Cabangahan in Malaybalay, and in Dabongdabong in Valencia City.

Glorioso said they inspected the three sites during the April 3-4 visit of the team, which included a representative from Phil.Jac and from Science Vision for Technology, tasked to conduct the feasibility study for the project initially dubbed “Bukidnon Airport Development Project.”

The study intends to determine the air travel demand for Bukidnon and “identify the most suitable site for a new airport.” The study also seeks to check the most effective and efficient way to serve the air travel requirements “not only of Bukidnon, but as well as of the Central Mindanao area.”

Aside from the establishment of a domestic airport in Bukidnon, the Bukidnon Kaamulan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (Kaamulan Chamber) has pushed for a Bukidnon special economic zone as “priorities” for the province, said Roderico Bioco, chamber president, in his report to the group’s fourth general membership meeting last month.

Bioco told around 200 participants that one of the priority projects pushed by the chamber with the reactivation of the Bukidnon Investment and Export Promotion Board is construction of the Bukidnon domestic airport.

“Laguindingan (airport) is too far, even Davao (F. Bangoy International Airport),” he said, adding Bukidnon has no airport even if it has greater economic activities than the cities of Ozamiz and Pagadian, which have airports of their own.

Bioco said the CAAP has conferred with the chamber about a Malacañang directive for the conduct of feasibility study.

He noted that the most critical point in developing a new airports is the acquisition of land to accommodate the required runway and aerodrome.