[UPDATED] Don Carlos airstrip “technically feasible” for “airport of international standard”

MALAYBALAY CITY (Bukidnon News/30 August) The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines has recommended the existing airstrip in Maray-maray, Don Carlos, Bukidnon as “technically feasible” to be developed into “an airport of international standard.”

Bukidnon Vice Gov. Jose Ma. R. Zubiri Jr. updated members of the Bukidnon Chamber of Commerce and Industry about this when they had an audience with him Thursday afternoon.

A reliable Bukidnon News source cited the CAAP’s technical report as saying the airport could accommodate up to 4C type of aircrafts such as Boeing 737 or Airbus 320 under the classification of International Civil Aviation Organization.

The report has also recommended a feasibility study to be undertaken to determine the financial and economic viability of the proposed project.

Zubiri said an initial P100 million has been earmarked with the Department of Transportation and Communication for the proposed project.

But he said he learned that an additional P150 million is needed to proceed.

The BKCCI has backed the development of a Bukidnon airport.

Roberto Tinsay, BKCCI vice president for membership, said they are pushing for it for the benefit of business and development in the province.

“It will boost business in Bukidnon and change the landscape of the business environment in the province,” said Manny James Cudal, chair of the Bukidnon Micro-Small-Medium Enterprise Development Council.

“If you have fast delivery of good s and services, you have faster returns of investment,” he added.

He said maybe the airport is a big investment but the return of investment could trickle down to the people.

The Laguindingan International Airport is expected to be operational by the second quarter or early third quarter of 2012,” according to a post at the http://laguindinganinternationalairport.com.

It 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.

The website said the airport will primarily replace the existing Lumbia Airport in Cagayan de Oro and the Balo-i Airport in in Ditucalan, Lanao del Norte.

The new airport is 46 kilometers away from the present airport.

“It (construction of Bukidnon airport) will pave the way to easier transportation access especially with the transfer of airport operations,” Cudal  added.

Maite Abellanosa, point person for tourism at the BKCCI, said the transfer of airport operations is disadvantageous to Bukidnon because it increases travel time and cost.

She said it is not making promotion of Bukidnon easy, so the Bukidnon airport has to be developed.

Abellanosa said visitors to the province see the distance from Laguindingan in Misamis Oriental to the province as a hindrance. (Walter I. Balane/Bukidnon News)

Photo courtesy of http://laguindinganinternationalairport.com/ and skyscrapercity.com.