Last month, I wrote about Bacon Community Airport. One of my recommendations is to turn it into a flight training center.
And I feel that I wasn’t off the mark when I recommended it, especially, when I found this article today – Flight schools urged to move out of NCR, from the Inquirer. Lately, this is not the only article that tackle the congestion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
So I started thinking again about possibilities of the Bacon Community Airport. Looking at the google maps, if the local airport needs a longer runway, it seems that this is still possible – it can extend to the San Isidro-San Vicente access road to the East, and to Brgy. Bibincahan on the West. There are certain challenges though with the existing airport:
- The runway seems to need a total makeover. From the google maps, the grass is all over. Plus it may need to be covered with asphalt (for light aircraft) or concrete (more expensive, but can handle larger airplanes).
- There’s no control tower. Well, if it’s for visual observation only, without any electronics system required, a good wooden tower won’t hurt. But then again, who would go to such airport?
- Aside from the single structure (approx. 60 sqm or smaller) near the tarmac, there’s no other vertical structures can be found on the said airport.
- Throw-in electronic system for the airport, even second hand systems, the cost of rehab will surely hit the roof.
Of course, the local (national?) government can always start with basics, like the runway, water supply and some security personnel. Let the new tenants shoulder their hangars. Finally, allow day time flights only for starters. This should save the government (or investors) some money.
There’s one success story on having an alternative approach on airport construction – the owner of Air Asia who leveraged the same engineer that built his house, to build his hangar and improved the portion of the airport, saving him a lot money in the process.
The most difficult part? It’s convincing the training centers to relocate – there’s more than a couple of competitors near Manila; you have the Plaridel Community Airport, a historical air field in Bulacan, and the Iba Community Airport in Zambalez; Daraga Domestic Airport and the future international airport in Daraga will also pose a major competition, . Finally, Sorsogon is on the typhoon belt, averaging 29+ typhoons in a year.