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Monday, June 10, 2013

PNoy Graces the Final Inspection of the New Gateway to Northern Mindanao



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With all preparations completed for its long-awaited opening later this week, a final inspection of the Laguindingan Airport will be conducted by government authorities tomorrow (11 June 2013), according to the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC).

In the event dubbed “Final Inspection and Unveiling of Marker at Laguindingan Airport,” the DOTC and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), led by Transport Secretary Joseph Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya and CAAP Director General William H. Hotchkiss III, will perform a last check of the readiness of the new gateway’s facilities.

President Benigno S. Aquino III will be the Guest of Honor at the event, which will mark the first newly-built airport to be opened during his term. The first day of flights will be on Saturday, 15 June 2013.

 Photo credit to Unang Hirit


“We expect this final inspection to go smoothly, especially since the airport has been ready to operate since April this year,” said DOTC spokesperson Migs Sagcal.

Airport operations were originally scheduled to be transferred from Lumbia Airport in Cagayan de Oro City last 30 April, but this was postponed when carriers expressed difficulty in advising passengers of changes to their flight itineraries.

From this Saturday’s opening until its Instrument Landing System (ILS) is fully in place by May 2014, the new airport will operate using Visual Flight Rules (VFR).

“The consensus from CAAP, aviation experts, and affected airlines is that, even using VFR, Laguindingan is already safer than Lumbia right now. This is because geographically, it is in a better site under any weather condition,” Sagcal explained.

The construction of the P 7.85-Billion Laguindingan Airport was funded with Official Development Assistance (ODA) from South Korea through the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) and the Export-Import Bank of Korea (Korea Eximbank). It features a 2.1-kilometer runway and a 7,184-square meter passenger terminal building with a capacity of 1.6 million passengers per year.

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