Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) is eyeing flights to-and-from Baguio City once the Loakan Airport reopens, the country’s chief economist said.
“According to CAAP (Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines), which was present during our meeting [last Thursday] at the Loakan Airport, the airport needs improvements for safety purposes, which we saw and agreed,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said.
While the Baguio airport needs to be modernized, “in its present condition it can handle a flight a day (Fokker planes) so that the improvements can be done,” said Pernia, who heads the state planning agency National Economic and Development Authority (Neda).
According to Pernia, “PAL is willing” to launch flights at Loakan Airport “with CAAP’s green-light.”
Pernia added that more flights could be added when airport improvements have been done.
According to a recent report of the Inquirer’s Northern Luzon bureau, the modernization of the Loakan Airport, built in 1934, would cost about P50 million.
The airport had been mothballed and did not serve any major airline since the 1990s, although it used to host PAL’s flights between Baguio and Manila.
The government is looking into the feasibility of reviving Loakan airport’s operations even as it is close to the San Fernando Airport in La Union as well as the soon-to-be-finished Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (B. De Vera, Inq, TPLEx).