Laguindingan airport launches night flight in November

Bobby Lagsa
Laguindingan airport launches night flight in November
The required instrument landing system has been installed ahead of the November 20 completion deadline

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – Northern Mindanao’s Laguindingan Airport will inaugurate its night flight in November, following the installation of the required Instrument Landing System ahead of its November 20 completion deadline.

Laguindingan Airport replaced the aging Lumbia Airport in Cagayan de Oro on June 2013, but is limited to only sunrise to sunset operations and relied on the Visual Flight Rule (VFR), as the required instrument for night flights was not yet installed.

Airport manager Jose Budiongan said that the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) is set to test the night flight capability of the airport on the second week of November.

He added, “But we have to wait for the airline companies to do the night flight, if they want to.”

CAAP is now testing, calibrating the Instrument Landing Systems, a vital ground equipment that tells aircraft the precise position of the runway; VHF omni-directional radio range (VOR); the Distance Measuring Equipment (DME); Meteorological Observing System; Precision Approach Lighting System-Category 1; and the Precision Approach Path Indicator.

With the night flight launch, the airport’s annual capacity will likely to grow twice from its current capacity of 1.6 million passengers annually, Budiongan said.

 “We can still handle that kind of traffic but the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is looking to expand the terminal of the airport,” Budiongan said.

The installation of the instruments would mean that the number of flights in and out of the airport will increase from its current average of 18 landings and take offs, Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno said.

Moreno announced the breakthrough on October 11, when Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas  II visited the city and joked “ma-landingan na” (it can land now) – a word play on the “Laguindingan” Airport.

In June, the National Economic and Development Authority approved the Laguindingan Airport public-private partnership (PPP).

The DOTC-proposed airport development, operations, and maintenance project, , will improve the airport’s capacity and upgrade its facilities and equipment to international standards through engaging a private entity under an appropriate PPP arrangement.

The estimated implementation schedule is 30 years concession period, including construction (2015-2044). The estimated total cost of the project is P14.62 billion ($334.21 million).–

*$1 = P44.77

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