Don Carlos area, final site for Bukidnon airport – consultants

MALAYBALAY CITY (Bukidnon News/04 August) The final choice of site for the proposed Bukidnon domestic airport is the site in Maray-maray, Don Carlos, Bukidnon, said a representative from the aviation consulting firm contracted by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines.

Grace P. Sapuay, environmental specialist of the Philippine Japan Aviation and Airport Engineering Consultancy Inc. (PHIL.JAC.INC), said Monday that after applying the multi-criteria analysis (MCA), the planners found out that the site in Don Carlos possesses the best site in terms of landing, take-off, and terrain requirements.

Sapuay is in town to do her first and last environmental assessment as part of the feasibility study for the proposed airport. She said their firm is due to submit their report on August 26.

In April 2013, Raul Glorioso, department manager of the CAAP aerodrome engineering unit, told MindaNews the proposed project is still at the feasibility study stage expected to be done this month. After which, he added, they will be ready with recommendations and fund sourcing.

He cited the three sites as an airstrip in the municipality of Don Carlos, another area in Cabangahan in Malaybalay, and in Dabongdabong, Valencia City.

Glorioso said they inspected the three sites during the April 3-4 visit of the team. The team included a representative from Philjac, Inc. and Science Vision for Technology, tasked to conduct the feasibility study for the project initially dubbed “Bukidnon Airport Development Project.”

The study intends to determine the air travel demand for Bukidnon and “identify the most suitable site for a new airport.” The study also seeks to check the most effective and efficient way to serve the air travel requirements “not only of Bukidnon, but as well as of the Central Mindanao area.”

Aside from the establishment of a domestic airport in Bukidnon, the Bukidnon Kaamulan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (Kaamulan Chamber) has pushed for a Bukidnon special economic zone as “priorities” for the province, Roderico Bioco, Kaamulan Chamber president said in his report to the group’s 4th General Membership Meeting last month.

Bioco told around 200 participants of the meeting that one of the priority projects pushed by the chamber with the reactivation of the Bukidnon Investment and Export Promotion Board is construction of the Bukidnon domestic airport.

“Laguindingan (airport) is too far, even Davao (F. Bangoy International Airport),” he said, adding Bukidnon has no airport even if it has greater economic activities than the cities of Ozamis and Pagadian – both with airports.

Bioco said the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has conferred with the chamber about a Malacanang directive for the conduct of feasibility study.

He noted that the most critical point in developing new airports is the acquisition of land to accommodate required runway and aerodrome. (Walter I. Balane/Bukidnon News)