Cagayan airport draws foreign firms’ interest
Two major Malaysian companies have proposed to provide airport management services needed to operate the Cagayan North International Airport efficiently and smoothly a few weeks before CNIA is scheduled to receive its first overseas commercial aircraft from Macau.
Secretary Raul L. Lambino, Administrator and CEO of the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority, on Monday said Iris Corporation Berhad and Positive Paragon Sendirian Berhad, recently signed a joint Memorandum of Understanding with Ceza to undertake the project.
The two companies would set up the front-end hardware and equipment, install software as well as work stations and passport and travel card readers and set up, install and commission E-gates, among other things.
Meanwhile, a consortium of locally registered and foreign-based firms has also submitted an unsolicited proposal for the development of CNIA into a state of the art logistics aviation hub and a one-stop aviation center with interdependent revenue generating assets to meet the demands of the aviation industry.
Armed with 100 years in aviation experience, the newly formed Cagayan Business Aviation Center offered to set up a Fixed Based Operator/Aviation Service Provider; Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul Facility; Airline Crew Training Center; and a General Aviation/Regional Corporate Jet Charter Services, Inter-Island Commuter Airline Services; and eventual entry to commercial flights.
The consortium is powered by the Subic Bay Business Aviation Center (formerly AIA International Flight Support and Services) in collaboration with the US-based National Standard Finance and the Bangkok-based Mahanakon Partners Group., Co., Ltd.
“This proposed high-tech airport facility will be the first of its kind in the country and will comprise of interdependent projects using state of the art aerospace technology,” said Lambino.
He had earlier announced that CNIA in Lal-lo town in northern Cagayan has already cleared all hurdles required for its acquisition of a full aerodrome certificate from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines to begin operating commercial flights for the heavier A320 and B-737 aircraft.
Following the inaugural flight from Macau, Lambino said Cebu Pacific is expected to also launch its Manila-Lal- lo service shortly.
CNIA cuts the overland travel time to Santa Ana, headquarter of Ceza and host of Port Irene, to only 45 minutes by car, said Lambino, who sees the launch of the new airport as a “pivotal development in our sustained efforts to open CEZA to East Asia and the North and South Pacific.”
“We have metaphorically moved mountains to reach this point in our incessant drive to improve CEZA,” said Lambino.
Lambino earlier pointed out in a speech before the Regional Development Council of Region 2 the severe inadequacy of infrastructure within the Zone despite being in existence for more than two decades.
He had ordered a review of the Medium-Term Development Plan of CEZA to refocus efforts towards developing and building new infrastructure, saying, “this is the only way we at CEZA can move forward, and fast.”
The MOU between CEZA, Iris and PPSB was among several that Lambino signed in recent weeks, capping months of an intensive campaign promoting CEZA as the emerging hub for the transshipment of goods and produce in East and Southeast Asia, a gem for eco-tourism and family recreation, and the zone for the development of financial technology solutions such as Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
In recent weeks, CEZA also welcomed proposals that would modernize infrastructure in the Zone strategically located along international shipping routes in the North Pacific, being at the northeastern tip of Cagayan.
The MoUs were each signed between CEZA and Genserv International, MVP Asia Pacific, Inc. and Triviciti Global Limited (U.S.A.), creating “partnerships for the growth and development of North Luzon,” Lambino said, “and jobs, incomes and economic opportunities for the local population.”
Genserv offered to promote agriculture and fisheries development in Cagayan to foreign investors and, on the technology side, investments in tele-communications and green power products such as solar power, wind and turbine power, and hydro and biomass systems.
Genserv would also try to lure investors in eco-tourism such as land and resorts development and casino accreditation.
MVP Asia Pacific and Triviciti Global Limited have proposed to develop in CEZA a “world-class smart city center” with infrastructure for wireless broadband, high-tech sensors for traffic monitoring and control, and a blockchain transactional network, among other developments.