The latest statistical data report of CAAP (Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines) has shown a steady increase of passengers for the past five years, all thanks to the rise of low-cost airlines which makes flying to different points of the country possible to every Juan.
|The small terminal building of Lumbia Airport, Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental (Photo credit)|
But despite this development, some airports are in dire need of expansion; they can no longer handle the huge influx of passengers. A perfect example for this predicament is Cagayan de Oro City's Lumbia Airport.
A quick overview about Lumbia Airport:
Airport: Cagayan de Oro Airport (IATA: CGY | ICAO: RPML)
Location: Brgy. Lumbia, Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental, Philippines
Elevation: 183 m / 601 ft above sea level
Runway: (Asphalt) 2,454 meters (8,050 feet).
Runway Direction: 1/19
|Aboard AirPhil 2P 253 (DVO-CGY) flight. Preparing for final approach. Photo by yours truly.|
Lumbia Airport is the busiest airport of Misamis Oriental and serves as the primary gateway of the region. Several airlines serve flights from Manila, Cebu, Davao and most recently, Iloilo, Tagbilaran and Zamboanga.
Believe it or not, this seemingly small airport had already served 1.35 million passengers last 2010. I have been to Lumbia Airport last year and I can truly say that the airport's really small. The baggage carousel that time wasn't working at all! Last April, my friend, Dan had an early morning flight to Manila via Philippine Airlines. There were so many people that time that the x-ray machines had gone berserk. X-ray personnel had resorted to manual checking of the baggage. With that, security has been compensated.
|Official name of the Airport: Laguindingan Airport|
|Passenger Terminal Building|
For the past decade, the local government of Region 10 has been eyeing for a possible expansion of Lumbia Airport. But due to its location (the airport is located on a hilly part of the city, which is an unideal location for an airport), expanding Lumbia seemed futile.
Thus, they resorted of buliding an airport on a vast flatland in the municipality of Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental located approximately 50 kilometers away from Cagayan de Oro City and approximately 50 kilometers from Iligan City, Lanao del Norte.
Laguindingan was considered to be the perfect location of the new airport which was funded by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The Laguindingan Airport Development Project cost approximately Php 7 Billion in which a portion of it was loaned from an international bank.
The planning started way back in Triassic Period, when the supercontinent Pangaea was still intact, but the construction of it commenced five years ago. There were so many issues back then.
The new airport comes with a single 2,000 m x 45 m meter concrete runway, a new terminal building with two jet bridges, a new control tower, a fire department building and two taxiways. Its apron can handle five Airbus A320s at the same time. The predeparture area of the airport offers a splendid view of Macajalar Bay.
|Taxiway and runway|
|Runway 08 approach|
Pilots will be happy as the approach procedures of Laguindingan Airport will be a million times easier than Lumbia. Lumbia is surrounded by Bukidnon's towering mountains, specifically near Runway 01. More so, due to its location, Lumbia is prone to fog and windshear causing delays. Laguindingan Airport has no physical obstructions and sits only a few meters above sea level.
As of today, civil works of the airport are almost complete. They are currently installing runway and taxiway lights and other navigational instruments essential to the airport.
Laguindingan Airport is expected to open in late 2012 or early 2013.
Well, as for Lumbia, it will serve as a military airbase of Region 10, similar to what happened to the old ramp of Davao International Airport.
Disclaimer: All Laguindingan Airport photos belong to GV Cagampang