Do you know how many airports are there in your country?
Well, in the Philippines there are 85 airports owned by the government and they are all placed into one of three main categories. The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) is the agency that handles the regulation over airports and aviation in the country. The 2008 CAAP’s classification system, which is updated every three years, or as the need arises, names the following categories:
1. International Airports
Those airports that are capable of handling international flights and have border control facilities are classified as international airports. They currently serve, or previously served, international destinations. These are the 10 airports in the 2008 list:
1. Clark International Airport which serves Central Luzon and Metro Manila is located in Mabalacat, Pampanga.
2. Mactan-Cebu International Airport serves Metro Cebu and Central Visayas. It is located in Lapu-lapu City.
3. Francisco Bangoy International Airport (Davao International Airport) serves Metro Davao and Davao Region and is located in Davao City.
4. General Santos International Airports services the SOCCSKSARGEN Regions. It is located in General Santos City.
5. Kalibo International Airport located in Kalibo, Aklan serves the Aklan and Boracay.
6. Laoag International Airport serves the Ilocos Region. The airport is found in Laoag, Ilocos Norte.
7. Ninoy Aquino International Airport is the busiest airport and Metro Manila’s principal airport. It is located in Pasay/Parañaque area.
8. Puerto Princesa International Airport serves Puerto Princesa and Palawan areas. The airport can be found in Puerto Princesa.
9. Subic Bay International Airport serves the Subic Bay Freeport Zone and located in Morong, Bataan.
10. Zamboanga International Airport serves the Zamboanga Peninsula and Sulu Archipelago. It is located in Zamboanga City.
11. The only airport elevated to international status since 2008 was Iloilo Airport where scheduled international service began in 2012.
2. Principal airports
These are airports which serve domestic destinations. There are thirty three principal airports in the Philippines. They are further subdivided into two types:
• Class 1 principal airports can serve jet aircrafts with at least 100 seating capacities. There are 15 airports under this category as of August 2016 which have regularly-scheduled air service. However, Caticlan Airport has been elevated from Class 2 principal status to Class 1 as of August 2016.
• Class 2 principal airports are capable of serving propeller aircrafts with at least 19 seats capacity. As of August 2016, there are 18 airports with regular scheduled air service under this category.
3. Community airports
There are currently 48 airports in this category which are used primarily for general aviation. Only a few community airports such as Cauayan Airport and Ozamiz Airport have regular scheduled air service.
Privately-owned aerodromes (airports, airstrips, airfields) are outside of the CAAP’s classification system.