‘Cagayan airport is up and running’

By Leander C. Domingo | The Manila Times
July 17, 2023

LAL-LO, Cagayan: The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) said the Cagayan North International Airport (CNIA) has flights that are available initially every Wednesday and Saturday to and from Macau and Manila through Royal Air.

In a statement, Secretary Katrina Ponce Enrile, CEZA administrator and chief executive officer, said they are currently in talks with various airline companies and businessmen alike “to explore the possibility of having more chartered and commercial flights at various domestic and international destinations soon.”

“CEZA’s goal is to make available a more accessible and time-saving traveling option to serve locators, investors, public officials, locals, tourists, and other guests, and of opening the Cagayan Freeport and its neighboring towns to more economic and livelihood opportunities,” Enrile said.

The P1.67-billion CNIA sits on a 150-hectare land with a control tower and passengers’ lounge with a 2.1-kilometer long, 45-meter wide runway and can accommodate large aircraft, particularly Airbus 320s and Boeing 737s.

It was the private sector that initiated the building of the airport in partnership with the CEZA, a government-owned and controlled corporation, with 58-42 interest sharing, respectively.

CEZA officials said the airport was envisioned to be the international gateway to Northern Luzon that can initially serve domestic flights to other airports in the country and international flights to Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and China.

Some 64 kilometers from the CEZA operations center in Santa Ana town, the airport is also envisioned to be an aviation park and hangar where business and private jets can park in a modern facility.

Under Republic Act 7922, the CEZA manages the 54,118-hectare Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport, which covers the entire town of Santa Ana in Cagayan including the island of Fuga, Barit and Mabbag in Aparri.

Meanwhile, a recent roundtable discussion of key officials from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) headed by Secretary Amenah Pangandaman and CEZA had a positive turnout with the presentation of CEZA’s reorganizational efforts for rightsizing and other promising undertakings geared towards investment promotion, employment generation and economic growth in the Northern Philippines.

During the discussion, Enrile presented CEZA’s intention to undergo rightsizing, aiming to improve organizational efficiency, reduce operational costs and increase profitability.

“This initiative would also help strengthen accountability mechanisms, define roles, responsibilities, and reporting lines more clearly, and promote transparency and accountability,” she added.

CEZA’s Deputy Administrator Perla Tumaliuan affirmed and added that this effort will also help CEZA reallocate resources, minimize operational expenses, and lead to cost-saving measures.

Other promising undertakings meant to advance investment, employment, and economy in the area were also discussed and presented by key officials of CEZA.

Pangandaman lauded CEZA’s initiative and approved in principle its organizational restructuring proposal.

It was however pointed out that specific support and involvement of DBM in CEZA’s projects may vary, depending on the nature and scope of each initiative, as well as the overall priorities and strategies of the government.


Source: https://www.manilatimes.net/2023/07/17/regions/cagayan-airport-is-up-and-running/1900987