Mayor Benjamin Magalong announced the Philippine Airlines (PAL) and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) are fast-tracking the rehabilitation of the Loakan Airport to meet the target reopening of commercial flights by Christmas.
Barely two months before the target launching of commercial flights, CAAP and PAL informed Magalong that they are now polishing the operation of domestic trips from Baguio City to Cebu City and vice versa in a tourism council meeting held recently.
The mayor is thankful to Department of Transportation Sec. Jaime Bautista for the agency’s commitment in improving the airport to strengthen the city government’s economic recovery efforts.
CAAP has completed its survey and is now addressing technical issues while the DOTR is working on the issuance of environmental compliance certificate from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
“On the part of the local government unit, we will make sure that we have an enabling environment for the operation of commercial flights by removing identified structural obstructions, which is a big responsibility, but we have to understand this is for our economic recovery,” Magalong said.
Human and vehicular traffic across the runway will not be allowed anymore once the airport operates, the mayor said, in compliance with the requirements of the CAAP for safety reasons.
The DOTR and CAAP infused P68 million for the rehabilitation of the airport terminal including the upgrade of the necessary instrument landing system that will guide aircrafts in maneuvering in and out of the airport even during bad weather conditions.
The mayor said CAAP already addressed the concern on the shortage of the runway’s length by at least 100 meters from the present 1.683 meters.
“I was told the present runway is sufficient enough to accommodate turboprop aircrafts like the Q400 (Dash 8) Bombardier which is an 80-seater plane,” Magalong said.
The mayor hopes once the airport is operating commercially, more airlines will invest for more flights to and from Baguio City. – Jessa Mardy P. Samidan