Baguio local gov't orders demolition of structures in Loakan airport buffer zone
BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – The Baguio City local government has issued demolition notices to the owners of some 110 structures within the declared 150-meter buffer zone of the Loakan airport in preparation for its return to commercial operations, the city’s public information office (PIO) said on Friday, January 24.
Around 200 structures have earlier been identified to be within the buffer zone and the issuance of demolition notices will continue, according to Engr. Stephen Capuyan, who heads the city's Buildings and Architecture Office (CBAO) investigation and demolition division. The notices will be issued every Tuesday, he said.
Capuyan added that owners are given 7 days to “voluntarily demolish” the structures upon receipt of the notice or present documents as proof of ownership of their properties.
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has declared 75 meters on both sides of the airport as a buffer zone that must be clear of any obstructions for the safety of the aircraft that will land and take off from Loakan.
The local government has pushed for the airport's opening for commercial flights to entice “high end visitors to consider spending their short breaks in the country’s undisputed Summer Capital,” the PIO said.
Only chartered and military flights are allowed to use the Loakan airport, which was closed for commercial flights more than a decade ago over safety and other technical aviation issues.
Loakan has one of the shortest runways in the country, with its airstrip just a little over 1.6 kilometers. But the local government has said that this length is “sufficient to cater to the taxi and take off requirements of small aircrafts wanting to service the route.”
Loakan airport was almost closed for good several years ago with the proposal to convert it into an expansion area of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) but the city government fought for its continued operations, citing its importance to the local tourism industry. – Rappler.com