HEAVY rains delayed the scheduled pouring of concrete for the proposed Laguindingan International Airport runway Friday but Misamis Oriental Governor said construction is still ahead by three months.

The pouring of concrete for the runway would be done in two stages: the cement-treated base course measuring six inches and the 18-inches pure concrete base.

Governor Oscar S. Moreno said the target completion of the international airport has been accelerated.

Originally, the airport is expected to be finished by first quarter of 2012 but with the accelerated construction, full completion and operation of the airport including air navigational aids would be in the third quarter of 2011.

He said they target to complete about 200 meters of concrete pouring in the runway by the end of November and 800 meters by the end of December.

“Our target is by the end of December, about 60 percent of the civil works would be completed and by the end of the first quarter of 2010, the runway and taxi way are finished,” Moreno said.

But even with the airport’s present status, Moreno said he would like to see President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo doing a ceremonial landing on the airport before her term ends in June 2010.

“Even if the airport is not yet fully operational, I would like to see the president at least doing ceremonial landing or what, that she would be the first one to use the airport,” he said.

The P7.9 billion Laguindingan International Airport was inaugurated by President Arroyo on January 11, 2006 and is envisioned to replace the old Lumbia Airport in Cagayan de Oro. It is located in Barangay Moog covering 387 hectares.

The airport is a flagship project of the Cagayan de Oro-Iligan Corridor Special Development Project, which covers both the cities of Iligan and Cagayan de Oro as well as five coastal towns in Lanao del Norte, the 24 towns of Misamis Oriental and its component city.

Once operational, the airport is seen to boost economic activities not only in Misamis Oriental but also the neighboring areas of Iligan and Lanao del Norte. (Terry D.C. Betonio)

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