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. US teacher fired over comment on black president
  2. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  3. Filipinos, Dane re-enact crucifixion of Christ
  4. Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
  5. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Massive infra spending set
  8. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  9. Easter crucifixions draw huge crowds
  10. Korea ferry captain arrested, divers spot bodies
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  7. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  8. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  9. Massive infra spending set
  10. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  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. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  5. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  6. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  7. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
Advertisement

News

  • 2 killed in apparent Bahrain car bombing
  • SC suspends proctor in 2011 bar exams
  • At barricades, Ukraine insurgents await Easter
  • Solons seek ample protection for bank depositors
  • Tragedies at sea: The Sewol and the Costa Concordia
  • Sports

  • Tottenham beats Fulham 3-1 in Premier League
  • Martino defends Messi, takes blame for Barca fail
  • Vettel hoping for resurgence at Chinese GP
  • MLB pitcher donates $100,000 for Sewol ferry victims
  • Hamilton takes pole at Chinese Grand Prix
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • Myx TV premieres Asian American ‘docu-series’
  • A nutty finale for ‘Scandal,’ TV’s craziest show
  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Business

  • Fiat-Chrysler to produce iconic Jeep in China from 2015
  • US commerce secretary spells out economic facet of ‘pivot to Asia’
  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Cesar Chavez movie sparks memories of Fil-Am labor leaders
  • Filipinos in US poised for success
  • Visas for priests and other faith leaders
  • DOH to continue tracking co-passengers of OFW infected with MERS virus
  • 5 Filipinos with MERS in UAE reported in stable condition
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement