CAGAYAN de Oro’s Lumbia Airport posted an increase of 38.38 percent in the number of flights during the first three months of the year, records from the National Economic Development Authority (Neda)-Northern Mindanao show.

Both incoming and outgoing passengers registered increases by 20.87 percent and 18.63 percent, respectively.

Total incoming passengers reached 144,544 in the first quarter this year compared to last year’s 119,584 of the same period. The airport catered a total of 146,085 outgoing passengers in first quarter in 2010, compared to 123,147 of last year.

Engr. Cecilio Y. Clarete, Neda assistant regional director, said the volume of incoming cargos also recorded increases by 32.00 percent from 1.4 million kilograms in 2009 to 1.9 million this year, while outgoing cargos posted a triple-digit improvement of 226.00 percent or from 845 thousand kilos in 2009 to 2.8 million kilograms in 2010.

Lumbia Airport, also known as Cagayan de Oro Airport, is a major domestic airport serving the general areas of Cagayan de Oro City and Northern Mindanao region.

It is currently the second-busiest airport in Mindanao, after Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City. It is also the only airport in the province of Misamis Oriental.

The domestic airport is classified as a trunkline airport, or a major commercial domestic airport, by the Air Transportation Office, a body of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) responsible for the operations of not only this airport but also of all other airports in the Philippines except the major international airports.

Lumbia Airport takes its name from its location in Barangay Lumbia, Cagayan de Oro City. It serves as a minor air base of the Philippine Air Force, with service equipment of OV-10 Bronco aircraft as well as UH-1 Huey and MD-520MG Defender helicopters.

It is also set to be replaced by the larger Laguindingan International Airport currently under construction in the Municipality of Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental, some 46 kilometers southwest of Cagayan de Oro City. When it is finished, the International airport will serve Northern Mindanao including its major cities; Iligan and Cagayan de Oro. Construction of the International airport will accordingly, be completed by 2011.

article by Loui Maliza of Sun Star 

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