Press Release
September 14, 2013


Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, PDP Laban President, today decried the miserable condition of the newly-opened Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental which has greatly attributed to a slowdown in traffic and flight flows compared with the old Lumbia Airport in Cagayan de Oro City three months ago.

Pimentel said that the deficiencies and lack of instruments and systems for landing and navigations and the slow implementation of the road rehabilitation and widening projects going to the airport have triggered a sharp decline in air travel, bringing down business in nearby Cagayan de Oro City.

The senator from Mindanao said that passengers are inconvenienced by the slow processing at the airlines' counters because of a non-functional x-ray machine and the low traffic have impacted heavily on hotel bookings while land travel to and from the airport is saddled by ongoing repair works.

He called on the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) to fastrack the installation of needed equipment, including the speedy rehabilitation and widening of access roads, to make the airport fully operational as the veritable gateway in Northern Mindanao.

But the present deplorable condition of the airport, Pimentel said, has been a big letdown to various businesses, including tourism, commercial ventures, the banking system and other investors coming from neighboring cities and municipalities in Mindanao.

He said that the new airport could only accommodate 18 flights a day, paling in comparison to the 26 daily flights of the old airport that the targeted arrival of 1.6 million passengers this year is now a mission impossible for the Laguindingan airport.

Pimentel said that businessmen are now feeling the crunch that they are asking the DOTC and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) to reset the May 2014 "fully operational" status of the airport to an earlier date, for them to recover their heavy losses.

Saying that the extended time frame for the full operation of the airport retards economic growth, Pimentel also scored the imposition of an "entrance fee" of P20 for every vehicle entering the compound of the airport, noting that the practice is excessive.

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