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Philippine Star columnist Bobit S. Avila got a reply from Capt. John C. Andrews, CAAP Deputy Director General regarding his column about Laguindingan Airport.

Mr. Avila was one of those stranded at the airport amid numerous flight cancellations caused by a lingering low pressure area and the absence of navigational aids at the airport. Avila’s “Shooting Straight” column is published in a newspaper of national circulation with millions of readers, no wonder CAAP made a response. I am re-posting the entire letter of Capt. Andrews as published in Mr. Avila’s column today below. I have highlighted some important details which are of interest.

Dear Mr. Avila, This refers to your commentary on CAAP’s actions specially on the transfer of airport operations from Cagayan de Oro (Lumbia) to Laguindingan. We are appreciative of your concerns for the safe and secure transportation thereat. We had transferred the airport operations since the then Lumbia Airport owing to its geographical location; restrictions under IFR conditions are relatively higher than normal.

Weather conditions will show that weather diversions from Lumbia are more than average and it is compounded by the fact that this airport has no more room for further development. These are the reasons why Laguindingan was built. Laguindingan has complete facilities except for the runway lights and navigation aids for IFR operations that are in the process of procurement. It has its own aerodrome control tower, which monitors and directs aircraft operations. Pilots are also guided by the Precision Approach Path Indicator (PAPI) during VFR conditions. The control tower in Lumbia is being used as approach control for the air traffic procedure at Laguindingan, which is different from the tower control in Laguindingan.

The capacity of the Passenger Terminal Building (PTB) was based on the feasibility study undertaken in the early 1990s. However, due to the delay in the implementation of the project, the design capacity of the PTB was already reached upon the opening of the Laguindingan Airport through Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) agreement.

On the safety issue, there is no compromise as there are set limitations on both IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) and VFR (Visual Flight Rules). A safety issue only arises when violations on restrictions are committed. Rest assured, we shall consider your observations, as we have a common goal providing safety to our flying project. Very Truly Yours, By the Authority of the Director General, Capt. John C. Andrews Deputy Director General.”

Read Bobit Avila’s SHOOTING STRAIGHT column HERE.

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