To attract more investors and help establish the ‘Crypto Valley of Asia’, the Cagayan Ecozone in the north of the Philippines is to build an US$80m airport.
According to Raul Lambino, Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) administrator and chief executive officer, the airport will be constructed within the economic zone.
Launched in 2017, Crypto Valley of Asia is a joint initiative between CEZA and Northern Star Gaming and Resorts Inc., a private developer, and is designed to provide a stable and safe region for blockchain developers and crypto currency exchange operators.
“Investors said they need to get to the ecozone as fast as possible,” Lambino said, adding that the masterplan and the feasibility study are being undertaken by an American company in collaboration with some of CEZA’s local partners.
At present, the nearest airport is the Cagayan North International Airport, which is 80km (50 miles) from CEZA.
“Unless we construct an expressway, we would not be able to address the concern of investors who want to reach the ecozone quickly,” Lambino acknowledged.
“Right of way acquisition [for an expressway] could take more than five years and thus it is more practical and more doable to construct a new airport, which would involve less cost and less time,” Lambino added.
According to Lambino, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) have the primary jurisdiction to license a new airport.
“Thus, CEZA is now in talks with the DOTr and CAAP and we hope we will be able to realize this in the next three years,” Lambino concluded.