BAGUIO CITY – The Loakan airport is one of the airports in the country that is being programmed for repair and upgrading to accommodate regular commercial flights instrumental in the growth of the local tourism industry, a ranking tourism official said here recently.
Tourism Undersecretary Kat de Castro said the Loakan airport was included in the list of airports in the country being programmed for repair and upgrading by government agencies in line with the efforts of President Rodrigo R. Duterte to decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
“We continue to talk to the management of airline companies to include Baguio in their regular routes to help decongest NAIA and contribute in improving air travel in different parts of the country,” de Castro stressed.
The DOT official said that being an archipelagic nation, air travel is the most convenient means of travel for foreign and domestic tourists to be able to visit the scenic tourist spots around the country.
According to her, Baguio being the country’s undisputed Summer Capital must be accessible by air transportation to attract more tourists wanting to visit the city’s scenic spots and enjoy its cool weather.
Commercial airlines stopped servicing the Baguio route because of the challenges in landing at the Loakan airport due to the absence of instrument landing system equipment and the zero visibility around the airport during bad weather.
However, the airport still remains open for chartered and military flights coming in and going out of the city.
Local tourism industry stakeholders and the local government had been constantly lobbying with the national government for the immediate rehabilitation and upgrading of the airport to allow the city to host various national and international gatherings and attract more foreign and domestic tourists on short visits through regular domestic flights using the airport.
Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan welcomed the pronouncement of Undersecretary de Castro on the impending airport repair and upgrading, saying that there will be a significant growth in the local tourism industry once commercial flights will start servicing the Baguio.
The Loakan airport has a runway measuring 1.6 kilometers enough to cater to the landing and taxi needs of medium aircraft./By Dexter A. See