Baguio City’s Loakan airport up for rehabilitation, possible reopening

Published February 13, 2021, 11:17 AM

by Zaldy Comanda

BAGUIO CITY – Initial steps outlined by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) have been completed by the local government that could pave the way for the reopening of flights going here via the Loakan Airport.

(Photo by Rizaldy Comanda/ MANILA BULLETIN)

Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong said 17 CAAP Security and Intel Service (CSIS) personnel arrived in the city to conduct Risk Management Workshop, Basic Aviation Security Training and AVSEC Awareness in a bid to ensure the over-all safety for the resumption of commercial flight.

Magalong revealed that airline companies have been consistently receiving queries from tourists down South, particularly Davao City and Cebu, on the existence of flights going to Baguio, undisputedly regarded as the country’s summer capital.

Last month, Philippine Airlines’ subsidiary PAL Express disclosed its plan to evaluate and assess safety issues of the airport with an intention to conduct Manila-Baguio test flights soon.

Magalong also had talks with businessman Ramon Ang about the possibility of San Miguel Corporation operating the airport in the second quarter of 2020 but got scuttled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, the head of the Traffic and Transportation Management Division of the City Engineering Office (CEO) Engr. Janurio Borillo revealed that the City Environment and Parks Management Office has started trimming trees found inside the runway strip and takeoff and approach surface of runway 27.

Built in 1934, Loakan Airport is the only airport in the Cordillera. Prior to the 1990 earthquake, commercial airplanes serviced the city but stopped after the devastation brought about by the 7.7 magnitude earthquake that hit Luzon in 1990.

The Loakan Airport is being used by the Philippine Air Force and the presidential chopper, but not by commercial flights due to its small size, pedestrians near the site, and the upland fog that hinders night vision.