Cagayan airport soon open to commercial flights

By Kris Crismundo

August 20, 2018, 4:31 pm

MANILA -- The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) announced on Monday that the Cagayan North International Airport (CNIA) will be open to commercial flights after receiving the accreditation from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and International Air Transport Association (IATA).

“We are ready for commercial flights, both domestic and international,” CEZA Administrator and Chief Executive Officer Raul Lambino said in a statement.

Lambino said that ICAO has already assigned a four-letter location indicator RPLH for CNIA. The airport also received an IATA Code Assignment of LLC.

When the new CEZA administration took office in 2017, the CNIA had already ceased to accomodate commecial flights, he added. It only serviced chartered flights mostly from Macau and Hong Kong.

This development comes as CEZA is striving to attract investors from the mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau among others, for its financial technology hub in Cagayan. “[It] will meet the growing demands of our clients in the near future,” said Lambino.

The CEZA chief added that foreign investors are keen to redevelop the 300-hectare CNIA property into a logistics aviation hub.

The development would involve construction of hangars for aircrafts, VIP jet services, navigational system upgrades and advances, maintenance, repair, and overhaul or MRO facility, fixed-based operator aviation service, airline crew training center, general aviation and commercial flights, among others, he explained.

In a previous interview, Lambino mentioned that CEZA is in talks with airline companies such as Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Air Asia, and SkyJet Airlines to consider flying to and from CNIA. He said CEZA is also looking into upgrading the CNIA’s masterplan by adding another strip of runway to accommodate biggest commercial planes.

He stressed that enhancing the country’s gateways in Cagayan such as airport and seaports are key projects of CEZA to further bring economic development to north Luzon. (PNA)