In an effort to align initiatives of the Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR) and private sector stakeholders on restoring commercial operations of the Baguio Airport, a consultation-meeting was held on 23 January 2018 at the Citylight Hotel in Baguio City.

Presiding over the meeting was NEDA-CAR Director Milagros Rimando.  She was joined by officials and staff from the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Tourism (DOT), Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).  From the private sector were representatives of the Hotel and Restaurants Association of Baguio City (HRAB), Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), the Cordillera Travels and Tours Association, and Baguio Country Club represented by its consultant, Ms. Mita Dimalanta.

Presented and discussed during the meeting were updates on actions undertaken to address issues on the Baguio Airport operations and meetings with potential carriers. The participants also took turns in providing and suggesting data or information that could be of interest to carriers such as market demand, target clientele, potential routes, and commodities that may be transported through the airport. These data can encourage potential carriers to use the airport.

Director Rimando informed the body that a day before the consultation meeting, Baguio City Mayor and RDC Chairman Mauricio Domogan met with officials of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), DOT and NEDA to discuss the status of actions taken to address constraints in airport operations such as runway security and construction of an access road or pathway for residents adjacent to the airport.

One agreement arrived during that meeting, she added, was for the CAAP and DPWH to undertake a survey of the proposed road or pathway to serve as access for the nearby community.  The DPWH committed to construct the road or pathway upon resolution of all right of way issues.  The City Government, on the other hand, will assist in negotiating with residents or lot owners to facilitate delineation and construction of the pathway for the community.  This pathway will ensure access of the community with the closure of the runway to vehicular traffic and pedestrians.  The CAAP, meanwhile, committed funds to continue the perimeter fencing, rehabilitation of the runway and improvement of the airport facilities.

The results of the meetings shall be inputs to the meeting being arranged by Baguio City Congressman Marquez Go with the Baguio Airport’s potential carriers.

With the concerted efforts of all stakeholders, the Cordillera Region can look forward to the restoration of the Baguio Airport’s commercial operation that will not only enhance tourism and industry regionwide but will also link CAR to other destinations nationwide.