Baguio braces for Loakan airport opening

BAGUIO CITY (26 January 2021) – The city is now ready for the resumption of commercial flights in the Loakan airport following the completion of initial steps outlined by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) to address the safety issues for commercial aircrafts.

Engr. Janurio Borillo, head of the Traffic and Transportation Management Division  of the City Engineering Office (CEO), stated a survey will be conducted to ascertain the lots to be expropriated for the required bypass road at the western portion of the airport to permanent close the airport to pedestrians and motorists.

He added there will be stationing of police personnel from Station 4 of the Baguio City Police Office and the Aviation Security Group along Kias Road during flights to control the flow of traffic.

Further, there will be provisions for the required traffic bar and signages on the road at the end of runway 27 where CAAP will provide a temporary movable stop bar while the CEO will construct the fixed traffic bar.

The CEO official also reported that the City Environment and Parks Management Office  trimmed trees found inside the runway strip and takeoff and approach surface of runway 27 to ensure the safety of flights landing and taking off from the airport once the same will be opened to commercial flights soonest.

According to him, the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFPO) agreed to provide additional fire trucks in the airport 2 hours before flights until such time that fire trucks from CAAP will be permanently stationed in the airport.

Borillo claimed the appropriate communications will be released by the city government for the closure of the Loakan Road closing runway 27 approach from pedestrians and vehicles during approach and landing operations.

He asserted the need for the strict enforcement of wildlife control around the airport vicinity to ensure there will be no stray animals that will pose a threat to the safety of the aircrafts landing and taking off from the airport.

However, he stipulated the city is yet to work out the possible relocation or demolition of illegal structures located within the buffer zone and runway strip for the safe landing and takeoff of the aircrafts intending to service the Baguio route in the future.

Moreover, the CEO already installed no parking signs on the roadways inside the airport while barangay officials were tasked to notify residents not to park their vehicles inside the buffer zone, especially when there will be flights, to ensure the overall safety in the airport.

He revealed that the prevailing health protocols in the city were provided the CAAP representatives for evaluation and assessment and to guide them in working out the start of the required test flights to and from the city and for the possible resumption of commercial flights that hopefully will drive the city’s economy towards recovery. – Dexter A. See