MANILA, Philippines – The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) announced that a new airport in the northern Luzon province is expected to open by the 4th quarter.
The $34.2-million Cagayan International Airport in Lal-lo, Cagayan is a joint venture between CEZA and a private consortium that CEZA did not identify in a statement on Friday, March 8.
The new airport is expected to complement the Cagayan Freeport, an economic zone 12 hours from Manila. The new facility will cut down travel time to the logistics hub into a one-hour plane ride and a 40-minute drive.
“The realization of this project shall intensify investment and tourism opportunities, especially of related ventures such as flying school, medical and other support system for the airport crew and tourism facilities,” said Jose Mari B. Ponce, CEZA’s Administrator and CEO.
Ponce said that the airport’s 2.1-kilometer-long runway was completed in December 2012 and could accommodate an Airbus A320 aircraft. Officials from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) tested the runway on February 19. Airport development started in 2009.
Ponce said that contractors are working to complete the construction of a paved apron and tarmac, a control tower and a terminal building. The facilities are expected to meet International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards.
Ponce added that there is a possibility that the new airport may serve the Asian business aircraft sector. “For this venture, we are eyeing mainland China as a market where hundreds of business jets are being parked at Hong Kong International Airport, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Macau and other Asian airports at high rates and restricted air spaces.”
“Considering the more or less an hour flight from the neighboring Asian airports and with the vast and cheap raw land readily available at the Cagayan (Lal-lo) International Airport, its potential for this booming industry is very promising,” he added.
There are also plans to add facilities such as typhoon-resistant hangars, refueling stations, maintenance and repair facilities and advanced ground handling units. – Rappler.com