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Gov't urged to re-open Baguio Airport

Artemio Dumlao (The Philippine Star) - June 7, 2013 - 4:50pm

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines  – The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Baguio (HRAB) is urging  the government to re-open the Loakan Airport here to commercial traffic.

In a letter addressed to President Benigno Aquino III, the HRAB asked Aquino to consider making the Loakan Airport busy again with commercial planes ferrying tourists as well as business people and residents.

The HRAB also urges the Baguio City government to create a special committee to ascertain the state of the airport, conduct assessment of its facilities and services, implement upgrade and rehabilitation plans and conduct consultations to residents affected by it.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan has welcomed the private initiative of the HRAB.

“Agreements have already been reached,” he said, “between the Air Transportation Office (ATO) replaced by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) and the city government years back for the re-opening of the airport.”

Earlier,  the CAAP and the city government agreed to close the Loakan Airport to pedestrians and animals to ensure aviation safety and the development of a by-pass road towards Kennon Road to service residents across the runway.

A P12-million appropriation from the budget of the ATO was reserved for the development of the alternate route.

The city government however still has to ascertain if the appropriation is readily available.

The bid to re-open the airport is anchored on the country’s selection to host the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit to be held in November next year.

Delegates from 21 APEC nations will attend the week-long event that is expected to boost the economy and tourism of the  host country and the host cities.

Nine cities are identified as APEC destinations; Manila, Clark, Subic, Boracay, Cebu, Iloilo, Davao, Bacolod and Tagaytay.

HRAB   is urging the city government to submit a competitive bid to be considered one of the host cities like what the City of Albay reportedly did.

Domogan  said he had no knowledge about the move to submit Baguio as one of the APEC destinations.

“I think that we have to get the requirements first before we can bid. If the city can comply then it can submit its interest to bid and host some of the activities of APEC,” Domogan said.

AIR TRANSPORTATION OFFICE ASIA PACIFIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION BACOLOD AND TAGAYTAY BAGUIO CITY CITY CITY OF ALBAY CIVIL AVIATION AUTHORITY OF THE PHILIPPINES DOMOGAN HOTEL AND RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION OF BAGUIO LOAKAN AIRPORT
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