LALLO, Cagayan: The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has granted a new certificate to the P1.67 billion Cagayan North International Airport (CNIA) here allowing it to cater to larger commercial aircrafts.
Officials of the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) said that the CAAP certification allows the new airport the operations of Global Express Aircraft Category and below with Code 3C.
Marie Joyce Jayme-Calimag, CEZA public relations chief, said that from the previous permit of Limited Aerodrome Registration limiting the operations under Code 2C or 29-seater aircrafts and below, the Airport can now cater to 100-seater and below aircrafts.
“We can now invite bigger aircraft operators to operate in the Airport. That is why we have been aggressive in inviting investors to locate in the area,” Calimag said.
She said a big airline company has already expressed interest to provide regular commercial flights to and from the airport and that the airport management is now negotiating with the firm.
“We intend to open the airport to commercial flights as soon as possible,” Calimag said.
The airport is a joint venture of CEZA and the private sector through a 42-58 sharing scheme respectively.
CEZA officials said the 150-hectare airport has a 2.1- kilometer and 45-meter wide runway capable of accommodating large aircrafts.
The airport has already fielded some 168 flights ranging from tourism, diplomatic visit, emergency and medical airlift, according to the Philippine Information Agency Regional Watch
Meanwhile, Secretary Jose Mari Ponce, CEZA Administrator and Chief Executive Officer, said they have also started negotiations with potential investors.
“Aside from domestic and international airlines, we have also started exploring and opening investment opportunities in related ventures,” Ponce said.
He said these are a flying school, support system for airport crew and tourism facilities, among others.
“We are also considering making it a park and hangar hub of the booming aircraft industry in Asia,” Ponce said.
Ponce said the airport was built in line with CEZA’s mandate of transforming Cagayan as well as northeast Luzon to one of the country’s economic, tourism and logistic hubs.
Under Republic Act 7922, CEZA was created as a government-owned and -controlled corporation. It is tasked under the management and supervision of the Office of the President the development of the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport.
CEZA center is located in the coastal town of Santa Ana town in Cagayan where President Marcos also established the international port Irene.
The new airport is a two-hour drive from Tuguegarao City, the Cagayan Valley’s regional center, and less than an hour drive to Santa Ana.