Legazpi Airport
Legazpi Airport in the Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 is a major airport
An airport is a location where aircraft such as fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, and blimps take off and land. Aircraft may be stored or maintained at an airport...

 in the Bicol Region
Bicol Region
The Bicol Region or Bicolandia is one of the 17 regions of the Philippines. Its regional center is Legazpi City...

, serving the vicinity of Legazpi City
Legazpi City
The City of Legazpi is a first class city and capital of the province of Albay, Philippines. With 179,481 inhabitants according to the 2007 census, it is the largest city in the Bicol Region in terms of population, though not in land area...

 in Albay
Albay is a province of the Philippines located in the Bicol Region in Luzon. Its capital is Legazpi City and the province borders Camarines Sur to the north and Sorsogon to the south. Also to the northeast is Lagonoy Gulf....

. It has a single runway with dimensions of 2280 x 36 meters, longer than those of the former airports of Bacolod City
Bacolod City Domestic Airport
Bacolod City Domestic Airport , also known as Bacolod Airport, was the airport serving the general area of Bacolod City, the capital of Negros Occidental in the Philippines...

 (1958 x 30 meters) and Mandurriao
Mandurriao Airport
Mandurriao Airport , also known as Iloilo Airport during its operation, was the main airport serving the area of Iloilo City and the province of Iloilo in the Philippines. The airport was located five kilometers northwest of downtown Iloilo City in the district of Mandurriao...

 in Iloilo City
Iloilo City
The City of Iloilo is a highly urbanized city in the Philippines and the capital city of Iloilo province. It is the regional center of the Western Visayas, as well as the center of the Iloilo-Guimaras Metropolitan Area...

 (2100 x 43 meters), the airport can handle medium-sized civilian jets and military aircraft
Military aircraft
A military aircraft is any fixed-wing or rotary-wing aircraft that is operated by a legal or insurrectionary armed service of any type. Military aircraft can be either combat or non-combat:...



The jet age came to Legazpi in the late 1960s and by the '70s
File:1970s decade montage.png|From left, clockwise: US President Richard Nixon doing the V for Victory sign after his resignation from office after the Watergate scandal in 1974; Refugees aboard a US naval boat after the Fall of Saigon, leading to the end of the Vietnam War in 1975; The 1973 oil...

 Philippine Airlines
Philippine Airlines
Philippine Airlines, Inc. operating as Philippine Airlines, is a flag carrier of the Philippines. Headquartered in the Philippine National Bank Financial Center in Pasay City, the airline was founded in 1941 and is the first and oldest commercial airline in Asia operating under its original name...

 (PAL) introduced regular service to/from Manila
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities forming Metro Manila.Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati on the southeast,...

 using British Aircraft Corporation
British Aircraft Corporation
The British Aircraft Corporation was a British aircraft manufacturer formed from the government-pressured merger of English Electric Aviation Ltd., Vickers-Armstrongs , the Bristol Aeroplane Company and Hunting Aircraft in 1960. Bristol, English Electric and Vickers became "parents" of BAC with...

's BAC 1-11's. In the late 1980s PAL introduced Boeing
The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Boeing has expanded over the years, merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing Corporate headquarters has been in Chicago, Illinois since 2001...

 737-300s. YS-11's provided airlink to Mactan, Cebu
Cebu City
The City of Cebu is the capital city of Cebu and is the second largest city in the Philippines, the second most significant metropolitan centre in the Philippines and known as the oldest settlement established by the Spaniards in the country.The city is located on the eastern shore of Cebu and was...

, Masbate
Masbate is an island province of the Philippines located in the Bicol Region. Its capital is Masbate City and consists of three major islands: Masbate, Ticao and Burias.-History:...

, and Virac
Virac may refer to:* Virac, Catanduanes, a municipality in the province of Catanduanes, Philippines* Virac, Tarn, a commune of the Tarn département, in France* Ventspils International Radio Astronomy Centre...

. When PAL phased out the YS-11's and the short-lived Shorts SD-360 'Sunriser,' Fokker 50s replaced them. Prior to the debilitating labor strike in 1998 which caused PAL to temporarily cease operation, Legazpi Airport served as the airline's hub in Bicol, serving Manila, Cebu, Masbate, Virac, even Catarman, Samar. Today, it serves not only local clients but also transient passengers from southern Camarines Sur
Camarines Sur
Camarines Sur is a province of the Philippines located in the Bicol Region in Luzon. Its capital is Pili and the province borders Camarines Norte and Quezon to the north, and Albay to the south...

 and the province of Sorsogon
Sorsogon is a province of the Philippines located in the Bicol Region; it is the southernmost province in Luzon and is subdivided into fourteen municipalities and one city. Its capital is Sorsogon City and borders the province of Albay to the north...


Aside from PAL, Filipinas Orient Airways
Filipinas Orient Airways
Filipinas Orient Airways Inc. was founded by originally Lebanese refugee family Karam in the Philippines in 1964. Under Republic Act No. 4147 . FOA was granted the franchise to provide air transport service in the Philippines and between the Philippines and other countries on June 20, 1964...

 and Air Manila International served the airport prior to 1972, the declaration of Martial Law in the Philippines. Through the years, other airlines came and went: Air Philippines
Air Philippines
Air Philippines Corporation, now operating as Airphil Express , is a low-cost airline based in Pasay City, in the Philippines. It operates both domestic and international scheduled services from Manila, Cebu, Davao and Zamboanga. The airline was re-branded for a number of times, first as Air...

 for some time served Legazpi with YS-11's and 737
Boeing 737
The Boeing 737 is a short- to medium-range, twin-engine narrow-body jet airliner. Originally developed as a shorter, lower-cost twin-engine airliner derived from Boeing's 707 and 727, the 737 has developed into a family of nine passenger models with a capacity of 85 to 215 passengers...

-200s. Asian Spirit
Asian Spirit
Zest Airways Inc. is an airline based in the Asian Aeronautics Hangar in the General Aviation Area in Pasay City, Metro Manila in the Philippines. It operates scheduled domestic and international tourist services, mainly feeder services linking Manila and Cebu with 24 domestic destinations in...

 served Pili
Pili, Camarines Sur
Pili is a 1st class municipality in the province of Camarines Sur, Philippines. It is the capital municipality of Camarines Sur. According to the 2007 census, it has a population of 76,496 people.-History:...

 for flights to/from Manila and Cebu and has since ceased operations with six million pesos
Philippine peso
The peso is the currency of the Philippines. It is subdivided into 100 centavos . Before 1967, the language used on the banknotes and coins was English and so "peso" was the name used...

 in collectibles from local (Naga or Pili) franchisees. Asian Spirit might introduce flights to Legazpi aside from its sectors in Virac
Virac, Catanduanes
Virac is a 1st class municipality in the province of Catanduanes, Philippines. It is the capital municipality of the province and the third largest town with a land area of 188 km2...

 and Masbate
Masbate City
The City of Masbate is a 4th class city in the province of Masbate, Philippines. It is the capital city of Masbate province...

. At present, Aboitiz also regularly calls on Legazpi. South East Asian Airlines
South East Asian Airlines
Southeast Asian Airlines , Inc. operating as SEAir is an airline based in Pampanga, the Philippines. It operates domestic services and its main base is Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Manila, with hubs at Godofredo P. Ramos Airport, Malay, Aklan.- History :The airline was established in 1995...

, using the 19-seat LET-410, plies Cebu-Legazpi-Cebu Mondays and Fridays.

When Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II
Blessed Pope John Paul II , born Karol Józef Wojtyła , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of Vatican City from 16 October 1978 until his death on 2 April 2005, at of age. His was the second-longest documented pontificate, which lasted ; only Pope Pius IX ...

 visited the Philippines in 1981, his itinerary included Legazpi City. The Papal plane was a chartered PAL Boeing 727
Boeing 727
The Boeing 727 is a mid-size, narrow-body, three-engine, T-tailed commercial jet airliner, manufactured by Boeing. The Boeing 727 first flew in 1963, and for over a decade more were built per year than any other jet airliner. When production ended in 1984 a total of 1,832 aircraft had been produced...

 tri-jet. President Ferdinand Marcos
Ferdinand Marcos
Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos, Sr. was a Filipino leader and an authoritarian President of the Philippines from 1965 to 1986. He was a lawyer, member of the Philippine House of Representatives and a member of the Philippine Senate...

 arrived in his own jet; First Lady Imelda
Imelda Marcos
Imelda R. Marcos is a Filipino politician and widow of 10th Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos. Upon the ascension of her husband to political power, she held various positions to the government until 1986...

, and the then-Minister of Defense, Juan Ponce Enrile
Juan Ponce Enrile
Juan Ponce Enrile is a Filipino politician. As a protege of President Ferdinand Marcos, he served as Justice Secretary and then Defense Secretary under the Marcos regime. He later became one of the leaders of the 1986 People Power Movement that drove Marcos from power...

, arrived with their own retinues on separate jets.

In the mid-1990s a Harrier jumpjet of the US Marines made an emergency landing here. Nearby Alicia Hotel housed the unexpected guests for days while the aircraft was being repaired. During that time, day and night, the airport site became an aviation museum of sorts with curious on-lookers taking a glimpse at the heavily guarded fighter plane, exactly the same piece used in the Schwarzenegger film True Lies
True Lies
True Lies is a 1994 American action-comedy film directed by James Cameron and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Arnold, Bill Paxton, Tia Carrere, Charlton Heston, and Art Malik. Eliza Dushku also appears in the film in one of her first major film roles...


In February 2000, during a lull in nearby Mayon Volcano
Mayon Volcano
Mayon Volcano, also known as Mount Mayon, is an active volcano in the province of Albay, on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. Renowned as the "perfect cone" because of its almost symmetric conical shape, Mayon forms the northern boundary of Legazpi City, the largest city in terms of...

's eruption (which suspended regular commercial service), a chartered Boeing 727 tri-jet from Guam
Guam is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is one of five U.S. territories with an established civilian government. Guam is listed as one of 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories by the Special Committee on Decolonization of the United...

 landed, bringing relief goods for evacuees.

On September 15, 2001, coming home from her state visit to Japan, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is a Filipino politician who served as the 14th President of the Philippines from 2001 to 2010, as the 12th Vice President of the Philippines from 1998 to 2001, and is currently a member of the House of Representatives representing the 2nd District of Pampanga...

 flew to Legazpi non-stop from Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

 using a chartered PAL Airbus A320
Airbus A320
The Airbus A320 family is a family of short- to medium-range, narrow-body, commercial passenger jet airliners manufactured by Airbus Industrie.Airbus was originally a consortium of European aerospace companies, and is now fully owned by EADS. Airbus's name has been Airbus SAS since 2001...

, highlighting the capability of the airport to handle international air traffic. On November 26, 2003, a Cebu Pacific
Cebu Pacific
Cebu Air, Inc., operating as Cebu Pacific Air, is based on the grounds of Ninoy Aquino International Airport , Pasay City, Metro Manila, the Philippines. It offers scheduled flights to both domestic and international destinations...

 DC-9-32 brought delegates to the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants
Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants
The Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants is the national professional accountancy body of Philippines.-Aims:It was established with the following aims and purposes:...

 (PICPA) delegates on a charter flight from Cebu.


Although operating as sunrise-sunset (SR-SS) due to lack of instrument landing system (ILS), the airport can handle night landings and take-off but only on prior notice.

The airport is up for upgrading. It has no ILS such that low ceiling during inclement weather causes flight cancellations, to the chagrin of passengers. It is also only about 12 kilometers from the crater of Mayon Volcano; during eruptions, flights are canceled because of the danger posed by ash fall. The Regional Development Council had previously approved the feasibility study to transfer the airport to a site some 27 kilometers from the crater of Mayon, in barangay
A barangay is the smallest administrative division in the Philippines and is the native Filipino term for a village, district or ward...

 Bariis south of Legazpi City. Aside from the advantage of its being way out of ashfall's reach, it is midway between Legazpi and the province of Sorsogon and the emerging eco-tourism destination of Donsol with its whale sharks. Of late, some politicians, though, were able to maneuver that the site be transferred to Alobo, Daraga which at 15 kilometers from Mayon's crater, is only two or three kilometers farther from the present runway. Also, planes using Alobo will take the same approach used at present: through Jovellar/Camalig areas that are prone to ash fall during eruptions; planes will also fly over the urban areas of Daraga and Legazpi. If it will be Bariis, approach/takeoff will be along thinly populated land; even over the sea (Poliqui Bay and Albay Gulf
Albay Gulf
Albay Gulf is a large gulf in the southern part of Luzon island, Philippines, at .The place has been one of the tourist spots in the province because of the frequent sightings of whale sharks in the coastal areas...

), making 24/7 operations feasible and practical.

In early 2006, the proposed Southern Luzon International Airport was unveiled to the public in major newspapers. It would be built in the municipality of Daraga.

Airlines and destinations

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.