BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Benjaim B. Magalong disclosed that the operation of the Loakan airport is possible once concerned government agencies and the local government will be able to effectively and efficiently address the current obstacles to the upcoming flights from different parts of the country to the city.
The local chief executive claimed that as per his meetings with executives of airline companies, there are companies that are interested to provide the needed aircrafts for the Baguio route once the situation in the Loakan airport will be put in place by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).
He said that airline companies have been constantly receiving inquiries from returning Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) on the existence of flights from Davao City, Cebu among other major cities in the country to Baguio and vice versa so that they could directly visit the country’s undisputed Summer Capital and help further enhance the city’s local tourism industry and have a big impact on its economic growth.
The city mayor directed the City Buildings and Architecture Office (CBAO) to ascertain the structures that pose obstructions to incoming and outgoing flights so that appropriate actions could be done to pave the way for the possible reopening of the Loakan airport to commercial flights based on the prevailing standards imposed by CAAP.
Earlier, the Regional Development Council (RDC) in the Cordillera chaired by former Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan requested the concerned government agencies to provide the more than P420 million required to operationalize the Loakan airport through the installation of the sufficient instrument landing system equipment among other needed expansions and rehabilitation to make it one of the state-of-the art domestic airports in the country.
Magalong stated that it is not true that there are no airline companies that are interested in servicing the Baguio route considering that based on his recent meetings with him, there are airline companies that are simply awaiting the developments that will be introduced in the Loakan airport.
Commercial flights in the Loakan airport ceased operations over a decade ago following issues on the safety of flights coming in and out of the airport while military and chartered flights remained through the years.
The Loakan airport served as the only available means of bringing in food and other supplies to the country’s undisputed Summer Capital during the wrath of the July 16, 1990 killer earthquake which illustrates its vital role in providing the landing area for air transport during emergency situations.
Local government officials were tasked to closely coordinate with their CAAP counterparts to thresh out the issues and concerns that need to be acted upon the soonest to ensure the immediate re-opening of the domestic airport to commercial flights serving the Baguio route.
By Dexter A. See
Photo by Armando M. Bolislis