The Cagayan North International Airport is now ready for commercial flights, both domestic and international, after it was granted accreditation by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
The announcement was made by Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) administrator and chief executive officer Raul Lambino, saying the airport in Lal-lo town has opened a new international gateway to the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport, augmenting traffic brought by the Laoag International Airport on the western side of Luzon.
Lambino said a fully-operational Lal-lo airport will give a major Asian and even global investor easy, convenient access and faster travel time to the Freeport located in Santa Ana, Cagayan
Lambino said, along with ICAO, which assigns the airport a four-letter location indicator of RPLH, CNIA has also received an IATA Code Assignment of LLC by virtue of its becoming a member of the International Air Transport Association.
“Published in the global map of international air travel, both accreditations ensure the airport’s full-capacity operation that is likely to turn it into a major entry point in Northern Luzon,” he added.
Lambino said the airport is currently operating chartered flights originating from Macau, considered Asia’s casino gambling capital, but its development plan includes a high-tech facility that “will meet the growing demands of our different clients in the near future.”
Lambino sits as chairman of CNIA Corporation, a joint venture of CEZA with the private firm Cagayan Land, a subsidiary of First Cagayan Leisure and Resorts (FCLRC), which is one of CEZA’s master licensors for the Freeport’s offshore inter-active gaming industry.
Various foreign groups, Lambino said further, have shown interest in redeveloping the 300-hectare CNIA property into a state-of-the-art logistics aviation hub and one-stop shop with independent revenue- generating assets designed to meet the demands of the aviation industry.
He said CNIA’s masterplan calls for the construction of hangars for aircrafts, VIP jet services, navigational system upgrades and advances, MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) facility, FBO (fixed-based operator) aviation service, airline crew training center, general aviation and commercial flights, among others.
The surrounding land around CNIA is being eyed for development into a locally-inpsired business aviation park that would integrate the rich history and culture of Cagayan.
On March 23, 2018, Royal Air’s (RJ 100) inaugural chartered flight took off from Macau to Lal-lo Airport, with more than 60 tourist-passengers. It was the first flight that landed at the CNIA after President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s inspection of the facility on March 14. 2018.