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Test flights to Baguio's Loakan Airport to be conducted by end of January

Aviation Updates Philippines – An airline company is set to conduct test flights to Baguio later this month, a move that could pave the way for the possible resumption of commercial flights to and from the city.

According to Baguio City Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong, the management of PAL Express has signified its intention to conduct test flights from Manila to Baguio to determine the viability of commercial services to the city and to evaluate and assess the previously-raised safety issues that require the appropriate action of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), concerned government agencies, and the local government.

Magalong added that the City Buildings and Architecture Office (CBAO), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) are now conducting an inventory of structures that need to be demolished and trees that will be cut or trimmed for obstructing the path of aircraft intending to land in the airport.

He also said that CAAP has already allocated funds for the overall improvement of the airport's facilities as well as the procurement of the required aviation equipment.

Last year, the local government of Baguio City ordered the demolition of at least 110 structures within the airport's 150-meter buffer zone.

In a statement, Magalong said he is hoping that the resumption of flights in and out of Baguio "will play a key role in convincing high-end tourists to prioritize Baguio as one of their preferred destinations," and that it will help speed up the revival of Baguio's tourism industry which has been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2009, commercial flights to and from Loakan Airport were halted after airline companies raised their concerns regarding safety and the lack of landing instruments in the airport. At present, the airport is only open to chartered and military flights.

Photo from Mapio.net

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