By Lynda B. Valencia
The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) recently revived a plan to construct a P7.8 billion world-class airport at Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental.
The Laguindingan International Airport (LIA) should have been completed in 2002, but was shelved due to lack of funds.
DOTC Secretary Leandro R. Mendoza, said “We are now working on the construction of the LIA. We have funds to start the work.”
”We have to establish an airport in Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental to meet the increasing air transportation demands and accommodated unhampered operations and unlimited development in the region,” said Mendoza.
The LIA is funded with a loan secured by the Philippine government and the government of Korea.
These are the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) US$ 22.40 million (original loan); EDCF, US$ 8.2 million (supplemental); Export Credit, US$ 62.75 million; Nordic Investment Bank (NIB), US$ 13.38 million; and the government of the Philippines, US$ 60.36 million or a total of US$ 167.09 (P7.853 billion).
The loan is payable in 20 years, with a grace period of 10 years. The repayment will start in 2010 and will be shouldered by the national government.
The airport, which is set to be completed in 2011, is a flagship project of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo under the Mindanao Super Region Program.
Mendoza, said the construction of the airport is now in high gear with the establishments of consultants and contractors’ facilities, mobilization of contractor’s resources equipment and site clearing.
The acquisition of the affected properties for the access roads is now 100 percent and is being undertaken by the provincial government.
The main civil work of the airport which started January 2008, is now 38 percent complete.
Air navigation and support facilities will be bidded out this year.
LIA is set for construction in a 200-hectare land outside the Cagayan de Oro City. It will have a 2.5 kilometer runway that could accommodate Airbus and Boeing aircraft.
It will also compliment the planned 82.5 kilometer Phase I of the Mindanao Railway Systems that will serve the transportation needs of the Iligan-Cagayan de Oro Industrial Corridor.
The LIA is seen as a key element in the government’s plan to put up “priority” airport to spur tourism and trade in the country. (PNA)