Quantcast
Latest Stories

In new plan, Baguio airport likely to take off again


A SMALL passenger plane fits the runway of Baguio City’s Loakan Airport. RICHARD BALONGLONG/INQUIRER NORTHERN LUZON

BAGUIO CITY—The city’s only airport, once recommended for closure, is being planned as an interisland facility by tourism and economic development officials.

Instead of pursuing commercial airlines that service Metro Manila, the Loakan Airport is being developed for smaller airplanes flying to and from destinations like Batanes, Cebu and Davao, according to a two-year market and development study conducted by the Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC).

Purificacion Molintas, regional director of the Department of Tourism, said interisland flights are suitable for the Loakan Airport, which former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo proposed to close in April 2007.

Arroyo then said the airport could be converted into an extension of the Baguio City Economic Zone, which hosts top exporter Texas Instruments Philippines Inc., after observing that major airlines had stopped using the Loakan Airport because Baguio’s erratic weather and afternoon fog made the trips dangerous.

Airlines also maintain fleets of planes, which are too big for the Baguio airport, which was built in 1934. The major airlines could not also subsidize the small Baguio market.

Arroyo proposed to divert all flights meant for Baguio City to the San Fernando City airport in La Union province, which was primed as an international airport serving northern Luzon.

Arroyo, however, withdrew this plan in 2008, after businessmen lobbied against Loakan’s closure.

The upgrading of the La Union airport at Poro Point, meanwhile, had not proceeded as scheduled because of legal issues over land, as well as economic feasibility concerns, including its proximity to the Clark International Airport, government documents showed.

Antonio Caluza, RDC member representing the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers, said the RDC study and a 2013 market survey covering January to July concluded that a small interisland fleet of airplanes would not need a redesigned Baguio airport, although the Loakan airport may need to be widened from its current 40 meters to 60 m.

The prospects of a shorter trip from Metro Manila to Baguio were also studied, with the construction of a Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEx) that would link the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) and the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) to roads leading to Baguio, Caluza said.

TPLex would cut the six- to seven-hour drive from Metro Manila to Baguio down to three to four hours, which would encourage more bus trips instead of flights, Molintas said.

But she said the interisland market involves people who prefer to fly. She said Luzon commuters have been used to bus rides and long road trips being part of landlocked communities, but flying is the top choice of travel for commuters from the Visayas and Mindanao, based on the RDC survey.

Foreign tourists also prefer flying to a remote destination, instead of enduring long bus rides, she said. “This is the type of [travel] behavior the Loakan airport would soon serve,” she said. Vincent Cabreza, Inquirer Northern Luzon

 


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Airports , aviation industry , Baguio , Loakan airport , News , Regions , Tourism




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  2. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  3. Palace prepared to charge its allies
  4. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  5. Napoles turnaround alarms whistle-blowers
  6. What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  7. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  8. Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  9. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  10. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
Advertisement

News

  • Malang the croc must regain strength before return to swamp, says mayor
  • Palace: Lacson’s version of Napoles testimony to be evaluated
  • Scientists eye iceberg bigger than Guam
  • Drilon: I’m not on Napoles’ list
  • Sonar finds 1888 San Francisco shipwreck
  • Sports

  • Promoters Dela Hoya, Arum in talks for Pacquiao-Alvarez—report
  • Benzema guides Madrid to 1-0 win over Bayern
  • Suns’ Goran Dragic win NBA’s Most Improved Player award
  • Heat go up 2-0, hold off Bobcats 101-97
  • Ronaldo shakes off injury fears to play Bayern
  • Lifestyle

  • This woman ate what?
  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Entertainment

  • Smithsonian wants photos, videos for ‘Day in the Life of Asian Pacific Americans’
  • What Garcia Marquez left behind
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Business

  • How ‘one percent’ economic elite was uncovered
  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Cost-recovery provisions for affected gencos urged
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Embassy advisory: Filipinos still need visas to enter US
  • No travel restriction to Mideast, DFA clarifies
  • PH-HK relations repaired, but families of victims still being courted
  • Filipinos in Middle East urged to get clearance before returning
  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement