LALLO, Cagayan: The P1.67-billion airport in northeastern Luzon will initially accept direct flights from at least five countries before the end of the year.
Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) officials said the new airport, which is expected to go on commercial operation by the end of this year, will cater to international flights from Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and China, among others. Domestic flights will also be hosted by the new international gateway.
The airport’s major facilities such as control towers, runways and passengers’ lounge have been completed, according to Engineer Julian Gonzales, CEZA deputy administrator.
Gonzales said this Lallo International Airport, which sits on a 150-hectare land, was initiated by the private sector in partnership with CEZA, a government- owned and controlled corporation, with 52-48 interest sharing, respectively.
He said the airport’s 2.1-kilometer, 45-meter wide runway could accommodate large aircrafts particularly Airbus 320.
“With this latest development at [CEZA], the economy of Cagayan and the entire Cagayan Valley is expected to be stronger and sustainable as the region is known to be one of the country’s food baskets,” said CEZA administrator Jose Marie Ponce.
Ponce said this new international gateway would further generate investment and tourism growth, and other related ventures including schools for pilots, aircraft maintenance, medical and other support systems for the airport crew, among others.
“We are hoping that in 2015, when we celebrate our 20th anniversary, we will stand a little taller, a little prouder of ourselves and what we have accomplished,” he said.
CEZA was created by virtue of Republic Act 7922 and tasked to manage and supervise the development of the 54,118 hectares Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport (CSEZFP).
CEZA is based in Cagayan’s northern coastal municipality of Santa Ana where Port Irene, an international port established during the Marcos administration, is also located. Santa Ana town is less than an hour’s drive from the new airport.