BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved a resolution informing the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) and the Cordillera office of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) on the city government’s commitment and support to the re-opening of Loakan airport for commercial flights to help sustain the tourism boom in the city with the expected influx of high-end visitors.
The resolution authored by Vice Mayor Edison R. Bilog stated the proposed re-opening of Loakan airport to commercial flights will definitely provide numerous benefits for the city in terms of the medical and emergency situation of residents, tourism and business opportunities aside from the opening of the doors to the possibility of having direct flights to and from other prime tourist destinations around the country serving as the city’s link to other destinations.
Since the closure of the Loakan airport to commercial flights over a decade ago, local officials and the people expressed their desire for the resumption of commercial flights in the Loakan airport to provide the fastest access to the city, aside from serving as a potential transport route of the city during emergency situations, just like what happened during the July 16, 1990 killer earthquake where it was the only available means of bringing food supplies to the city when all the road networks were closed.
Earlier, the local legislative body enacted numerous legislations requesting relevant national agencies to fastrack the rehabilitation and upgrading of the Loakan airport for the resumption of commercial flights to service the increasing need of the people for air transport for business transactions with their partners and clients in the different parts of the country through the fastest possible means.
Currently, the Loakan airport is being inspected by members of an aeronautical team from the CAAP to determine the possibility of resuming commercial flights to and from the city that will greatly contribute in enticing high-end visitors to patronize the city as their premier destinations when conducting business meetings or spending a vacation.
The NEDA-CAR is also coordinating with the CAAP for the possible modernization of the Loakan airport through the installation of the appropriate instrument landing system gadgets to allow the airport to operate even during bad weather and at night to facility the eventual sustained operation of flights coming in and out of the city.
Initially, some P420 million is being proposed by the NEDA-CAR to modernise the Loakan airport to be able to accommodate several commercial flights for interested airline companies interested to service the Baguio route in the future.
Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan and NEDA-CAR officials met with CAAP executives and got the latter’s commitment that the Loakan airport will not be closed to air traffic but the concerned government agencies need to implement projects to upgrade the status of the airport to convince commercial airline companies to service the Baguio route once these development projects in the facility shall have been completed.
By Dexter A. See
Banner photo by: ARMANDO M. BOLISLIS