Revilla vows airport rehab

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Friday, March 7, 2014


SENATOR Ramon Revilla Jr. veered away from the heat of the ongoing pork barrel hearings in the Senate to go on an oversight monitoring of public airports in the country by making a stop at Baguio’s Loakan Airport.

Coming from General Santos City, Revilla is in the process of evaluating regional air links to be prioritized for upgrading to serve the needs of the flying public and improve economic and transportations in its immediate service area.

Revilla, chair of the Committee on Public Services, said airports especially in the provinces need upgrade in terms of facilities and equipment to further boost tourism competitiveness of Philippine destinations as well as encourage more investments in the country.
Meeting with Mayor Mauricio Domogan and local Civil Aviation Authority officials, the senator said he was able to get important information on the current needs of the city’s airport.

CAAP-Baguio manager Sulyn Sagorsor said they presented the result of the Loakan Airport rehabilitation feasibility study commissioned by the Regional Development Council citing the need to upgrade the visual flight route dependence of the airport into an all-weather airport guided by air navigational equipment.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan, meantime, told reporters Wednesday Revilla pledged to push for the Department of Transportation and Communication and the CAAP leadership to upgrade the city and the region’s lone air link.

The mayor said it will take an estimated P110 million to rehabilitate the Loakan Airport to include perimeter fencing, runway widening and construction of a new terminal.

But according to Domogan, the main concern is permanently closing the airport runway from pedestrians and animals as it poses harm to both motorists and the flying public.

He said the budget for an access road up to the end of the runway has been realigned by the DOTC due to at least two landowners who remain firm in their stand of selling portions of their property to the government for the completion of the access road.

The mayor said they city government will continue mediating between CAAP and the landowners to finally close off the airport from pedestrians thus in the long run encouraging commercial airlines to open flights in the city. This as he highlighted that the Loakan Airport since the 1990s have already been accommodating bigger planes such as Boeing 747s and smaller turbo propeller planes.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on March 08, 2014.

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