By Shah Balaw-ing
The Technical Working Group (TWG) on Baguio Airport highlighted the benefits of resuming the operation of the airport in a presentation of the result of their study towards modernizing the Baguio Airport during the press conference at the Crown Legacy Hotel, Baguio City last August 23, 2013.
The study forms part of the proposed “Advancing the Baguio Airport Modernization Project” of the Infrastructure Development Committee (InfraCom) of the CAR RDC. This is in recognition of the role of an improved Baguio Airport in the region’s pursuit of a physically integrated region.
A TWG for the project was created to prepare a feasibility study. Led by Engr. Tony Caluza, Co-Chairman of the InfraCom, the TWG is composed of representatives from CAAP, the LGU of Baguio, DENR, DOT, DOTC and NEDA. The NEDA provided the technical secretariat services in the various activities to study the technical and economic aspects of the proposed improvement of the project.
The project, with CAAP as the project holder, was funded by the RDC Capability Building Program.
Engr. Tony Caluza recalled how the Baguio Airport had aided the community during the 1990 earthquake that devastated the city.
He echoed the statement of Major Victorino Patricio of the Philippine Air Force that it was a lifeline infrastructure. Caluza explained that the airport served as a link when all major highways into the city became inaccessible.
Other benefits highlighted by Caluza were the expected boom on tourism and trade. “There are people who prefer short air travel. Based on the study, tourists, especially from farther provinces are willing to spend for plane tickets”, he said. He also added that vegetables and flowers, which are among the region’s primary agricultural products, could be transported quickly to markets outside of the region thus minimizing damage caused by long travel.