BAGUIO Mayor Benjamin Magalong says Baguio City will have flights to Cebu by Christmastime with the Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) fast-tracking the rehabilitation of the Baguio Loakan Airport.
“First of all, the development is very positive. It is certain by mid-December, that is our target for the launching and reopening of the airport. In fact, no less than the CAAP chair and his top management, including the management of the Philippine Airlines are here. For us, it is already certain. They are dead serious about the reopening,” Magalong said.
Commercial flights are expected to be available by the end of the year.
According to Magalong, the city’s participation in the rehabilitation efforts include support work to ensure that the reopening and operations of the airport, once rehabilitated by mid-December, are smooth, as well as providing assistance in the form of ordinances and clearing the area of obstructions.
Surveys are being conducted by the CAAP and the PAL to look for obstructions that need to be removed from the airport’s area to allow smooth operations, and the city government is also processing the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) needed to proceed with the project. These are expected to be completed within the week, Magalong said.
“We cannot compromise safety. That is the very first requirement for the rehabilitation. So the responsibility of the local government is big. At the same time, this will also enhance again our tourism industry at just the right time. It’s timely for our recovery,” Magalong said.
Magalong said that the Baguio Tourism Council (BTC) has also expressed full support for the reopening of the airport, and expressed optimism that the airport will not only bring gains for the local economy, but also encourage other airlines to open flights to Baguio City.