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New CEZA chief to prioritize opening of Lal-lo airport

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) administrator lawyer Raul Lambino said the opening of Cagayan North International Airport in La-lo is his “highest priority.”

“I cannot afford to see five years wasted of such time that nothing happened to that airport’” Lambino said as he attended a special meeting of the Infrastructure Development Committee (IDC) of the Regional Development Council.

The CEZA chief also said that it is their “serious concern to have the airport open immediately,” saying that CEZA spent almost a billion in constructing the airport.

Lambino was invited by IDC Chairman and Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba in the said meeting on Saturday, November 18.

CEZA was initially a minority owner of the airport with only 42% equity shareholder and 58%  private partner shares. Yet, Lambino said that they have agreed to own 50% shares of the airport. The signing of agreement is expected next week.

“I cannot agree [to] less than 50% because that is also the one allowable by law for joint-venture projects,” Lambino said.

“We can level the playing field if we are going to be the one who will manage that airport,” he added.

CEZA is now closely coordinating with  Cagayano Secretary of the Department of Transportation Arthur Tugade, Undersecretary for Aviation Captain Manuel Antonio Tamayo, and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Director General Captain Jim Sysiongco.

Lambino said they were able to iron out deficiencies needed to be corrected or addressed in the said airport.

Meanwhile, in the said meeting, CAAP said the only lacking safety requirement of the airport is the acquisition of firetrucks.

The airport’s first flight is expected to be landing on December 20 while regular flights will start next year. Northernforum.net

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