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Reopen Lumbia Airport, solon asks.

Citing the poor facilities of Laguindingan Airport, a Mindanao solon has pleaded to the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) to reopen the Lumbia Airport so as not to hamper commerce in the region.

Misamis Oriental 2nd district Rep. Juliette Uy in a letter addressed to DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya dated Jan. 29 requested for the reopening of Lumbia Airport for commercial flights "as the Laguindingan Airport is not yet at par with international standards due to the absence of air navigational facilities, which are very essential to the airport's operations."

"We believe that since this has not been immediately acted upon by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), flight cancellations due to simple rain or cloudiness have become the norm at the Laguindingan facility," stated Uy as she described the current predicament.

The congresswoman noted how the Laguindingan Airport has been derisively dubbed by the public as "Di-Malandingan Airport," meaning an airport that is unsafe for landing planes.

Among those most affected by the problematic airport are overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and businessmen from Region 10, who often miss their connecting flights due to flight cancellations.

"That could have been prevented if the Laguindingan Airport was opened complete with the navigational facilities needed by an airport facility," Uy pointed out.

"It is of major concern to local businesses that cancelled flights always result to tremendous losses in the local economy. Flight cancellations severely limit the influx of tourists and investors in Misamis Oriental and other affected cities and provinces as well as the revenues of affected airline companies, hotels, restaurants and passengers," she added.

Uy said that the public clamor for reopening Lumbia Airport came to a head amid the inclement weather in the region brought about by Typhoon Agaton, where the operations of the Laguindingan facilty only became magnified.

"This just shows that the facility has no VHF Omni-Directional Range Navigation System, a Meteorological Observing System and a Precision Lighting System," Uy said.

Reports reveal that the completion of Laguindingan Airport has been moved back by five months due to the national government's insistence to open it as a Visual Flight Rule (VFR) airport.

"What the DOTC should do is reopen the Lumbia Airport for commercial flights until such time that the Laguindingan Airport is fully operational. This will address the problems faced by all airline passengers, and local businesses of Misamis Oriental and Region 10 due to the rushed opening of the Laguiningan facility," concluded Uy.

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Title Annotation:Provincial
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Feb 3, 2014
Words:414
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