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Laoag Int’l Airport gets temporary aerodrome certificate

The Laoag International Airport (LIA) got a temporary aerodrome certificate from the United Nations’ aviation technical body, making it one of the safest and secured international airports in the country.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) awarded LIA the aerodrome certificate valid for six months, or until June 30 this year.

Ronald Estabillo, Civil Aviation Area Manager of Area 1, said in an interview on Monday the Laoag airport passed the initial accreditation process following the conduct of safety audit and submission of aerodrome manual on June 20 to 24, 2016, and a subsequent validation audit on August 14-18, 2017.

ICAO has a set of standards focusing on the safety of the airport and its passengers, particularly on properly observing safety manuals, having well-trained personnel to respond in case of emergency, and ensuring well-maintained buildings.

Of the total number of airports operating in the country, Estabillo reported the Laoag airport is among the top six, which has complied with this certificate issued under the Civil Regulation Governing Aerodrome.

Other airports with aerodrome certificate include airports in Manila, Clark, Davao, Cebu and Iloilo.

Estabillo said Laoag airport officials are currently negotiating with some lot owners near the airport to expand its runway shoulder, which should be 150 meters both sides from the center of the runway.

“This is a long-term plan so as of the moment, we are implementing some mitigating measures for the safety of passengers,” he said.

The runway is one of the most important parts of an international airport. LIA’s runway is properly maintained through regular inspection before and after flights.

To date, LIA caters to domestic flights at least twice a day, except Monday and Wednesday.

Its international and chartered flights from Guangzhou, China has not resumed yet.

Leilanie Adriano / PNA