BAGUIO CITY – The Luzon chapter of Regional Development Councils (RDCs) support the long overdue clamor of the RDC-CAR and the region’s private sector for the resumption of the operation of the Loakan airport to enhance inter-connectivity of the Cordillera to that of other regions and provinces.
Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan, who also chairs the RDC-CAR, said he brought the issue to the level of the Luzon group of RDCs to generate support from other regional policy-making bodies in sending a strong message to concerned government agencies to prioritize the eventual operation of the Loakan airport.
“We are elated that the Luzon RDC chairpersons supported our repeated call to the national government to prioritize the operation of the Loakan airport, especially for commercial flights, so that we will be able to enhance the inter-connectivity of the Cordillera with other regions and provinces for improved growth and development,” Domogan stressed.
The local chief executive claimed what is needed at the airport is for the construction of the alternate road that will totally close the runway to vehicular and pedestrian as well as animal traffic and the provision of funds for the installation of state-of-the-art instrument landing system equipment that will make the airport viable for commercial operations even during bad weather where zero visibility prevails around the airport.
According to him, the rehabilitation of the San Fernando airport was also proposed during the Luzon RDC chairpersons meeting so that it will serve as an alternate airport when aircraft are not able to land in the Loakan airport during bad weather, among other situations.
He claimed the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) was tasked to prepare the pertinent documents to support the renewed call of the Luzon RDC group to open the Loakan airport to commercial flights once its facilities are upgraded with funds from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).
Domogan also appealed to concerned government agencies to consider reducing the tedious process in the processing of licenses of airline companies interested to service the Manila-Baguio-Manila route so that more airline companies are encouraged to open the route and provide air and cargo services to prospective clients.
Loakan airport remains open to chartered and military flights but there are no commercial flights that landed at the said airport since 2009.
Domogan underscored the opening of the Loakan airport to commercial flights will definitely spur economic growth not only to Baguio City but also to the neighboring provinces because more high-end tourists will frequent the city and other potential tourist destinations around it that will contribute in spurring enhanced economic activities that contribute to growth and development for the general welfare of the people.
He expressed his gratitude to the 7-member Luzon RDC group for supporting the proposed reopening of the city’s Loakan airport to commercial operations so that the vibrancy of the economy of the whole Cordillera region will be enhanced in the future. /By Dexter A. See