Dipolog Airport

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Dipolog Airport
Paliparan ng Dipolog
Dipolog Airport.jpg
Exterior of Dipolog Airport
Airport type Public
Operator Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines
Serves Dipolog
Location Barangay Minaog, Dipolog
Elevation AMSL 4 m / 12 ft
Coordinates 08°36′5″N 123°20′4″E / 8.60139°N 123.33444°E / 8.60139; 123.33444Coordinates: 08°36′5″N 123°20′4″E / 8.60139°N 123.33444°E / 8.60139; 123.33444
DPL/RPMG is located in Philippines
Location in the Philippines
Direction Length Surface
m ft
02/20 2,100 6,890 Concrete
Statistics (2011)
Passengers 165,163
Aircraft movements 2,494 (Y-10)
Metric tonnes of cargo 1,600 (Y-10)
Statistics from the Air Transportation Office.[1]

Dipolog Airport (Filipino: Paliparan ng Dipolog, Cebuano: Tugpahanan sa Dipolog, Chavacano and Spanish: Aeropuerto de Dipolog) (IATA: DPLICAO: RPMG) is the main airport serving the general area of Dipolog, the capital city of Zamboanga del Norte, in the Philippines. The airport is one of the busiest in Mindanao, especially considering its classification. The airport is classified as a secondary airport by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), a body of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) that is responsible for the operations of not only this airport but also of all other airports in the Philippines except the major international airports.

In 2005, the airport handled 75,751 passengers. Its passenger traffic has grown at least 52% from year 2000 statistical figures with an average annual growth rate of around 10.4%.[2]


Aerial view of Dipolog Field in 1945

During the incumbency of Matias C. Ranillo Sr. as Governor of Zamboanga peninsula in 1937-1941, President Quezon together with his daughters Zenaida and Aurora "Baby", were invited to inaugurate the opening of the first bridge linking Dipolog to nearby Dapitan in 1939. The bridge stands to this day as the Quezon Bridge. The 600-meter macadam airstrip was opened in October 1941, a few months prior to the outbreak of World War II, by then-Vice President Sergio Osmeña and Chief of Staff Basilio Valdez. They inaugurated the airport on a flight on board a Douglas DC-2 of the Philippine Army Air Corps (PAAC). They were welcomed by Governor Matias C. Ranillo, Sr. but the entourage promptly proceeded to Dipolog Cathedral for a thanksgiving mass since the plane almost crashed at landing. Fa. Nicasio Patangan was the officiating priest.[3]

The runway development as of this day

Airport Development[edit]

C-47 Skytrain 1945

The original terminal was made of composite wood material located at the northern side of the runway near the Philippine Constabulary Camp, now Camp Hamac in Sicayab. During World War II, the field was overrun by rank grass, but still used by Col. Hipolito Garma's guerrilla 105th Division, as a re-supply base for Wendell Fertig's guerrillas, and as an emergency landing field.[4]:593–594 In October 1944, Governor Ranillo led the Dipolognons clear the runway at the request of the Filipino guerrilla forces. By 8 March, four division of 16 Vought F4U Corsair US Marine fighter bombers and the 13th US Airforce established base as part of the Victor IV liberation plan. They covered the landing of the 41st Infantry Division in Zamboanga on D-day scheduled on 10 March.[4]:594 It was completely restored in 1947 with the construction of a longer runway and bigger terminal that was relocated to the eastern side of runway 20. A new access road was also constructed complementing its facility.

Commercial operation by Philippine Airlines commenced in 1952 utilizing a Douglas DC-3 aircraft for routes to and from Cebu City and Zamboanga City. Concreting and expansion of its runway was made in 1974 where a new taxiway and apron was built. A new terminal building was also constructed in 1980 relocating the old terminal to its new location where it stands to this day. A bigger parking area and new access road was opened together with the new terminal. A Control Tower was added in 1991, and new runway lights were installed in 2004.

The airport's strategic location during World War II and the liberation of Zamboanga and Mindanao by American and Philippine Commonwealth Forces in 1945 prompted the national government to develop the field as an alternate airport to Zamboanga International Airport principally for national security reasons arising from natural and man-made emergencies. This was made apparent during the tumultuous period of the Muslim Rebellion in the early 1970s. Its infrastructure at that time was testament to its strategic importance.

Commercial Traffic[edit]

The late 1980s saw a dramatic upsurge in foreign tourist arrival. Aerolift Philippines launched flights to Manila using a Beechcraft 1900-C aircraft in 1987.

The airport's commercial viability for growth was established as more flights were mounted by Philippine Airlines prompting the national government to introduce further development. The City Government of Dipolog incorporated its growth potential in their development strategy plan.[5]

In 1992, after extending its runway by 500 meters and constructing a control tower, the airport officially welcomed its first mid-sized passenger jet, a Philippine Airlines Boeing 737-300. On the same year, daily flights to Dumaguete were introduced by PAL using Short 360 aircraft but was dropped one year later.

In 2002, at least 25% of the passenger traffic bound for Dipolog Airport are composed of foreign tourists.[6]

In July 2006, Cebu Pacific launched non-stop service to Manila utilizing an Airbus A319 with a seating capacity of 150 passengers.

In December 2006, it registered a maximum traffic of 330 daily passengers on several occasions based on the aircraft's available capacity serving the route with Philippine Airlines utilizing the much bigger Boeing 737-400 with a seating capacity of 180 passengers.

The airport is expected to handle more than 150,000 passengers per year by 2009 or an average of 415 daily passengers, which is equivalent to 3 narrow-body aircraft flights or two flights using one wide-body and one narrow-body aircraft.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

A Philippine Airlines Airbus A320 at Dipolog Airport
Airlines Destinations
Cebu Pacific Manila
Cebu Pacific
operated by Cebgo
Philippine Airlines
operated by PAL Express



Dipolog Airport Terminal Building

The airport has one terminal and a 150-meter by 100-meter apron. The apron is capable of supporting two Airbus A320s and three large general aviation planes simultaneously. There are also plans to expand the apron to accommodate bigger aircraft.

The terminal building, which originally had a capacity of 170 passengers, now has a seating capacity of 300 passengers due to new flights offered by Cebu Pacific. The terminal houses a metal detector and an X-ray machine for fast security check-in of passengers and their baggage.

Dipolog Airport Fire Station
Dipolog Airport Parking Area was converted to airport security buffer zone. The new parking area was relocated outside the gate and is situated near the Miss Universe Garden.

Other structures[edit]

The airport also has a modern control tower, a Category V fire station with 4 firetrucks and a new parking area complex near the Miss Universe Garden.

The new parking area would have a capacity of 100 vehicles when completed by the end of the year. The old parking area, which had a capacity of ninety vehicles, was partially converted into an airport security buffer zone, to address probable terrorist threats. Forty slots of the old parking area were made part of the new parking area. The city government is expanding again the parking area to accommodate the additional passenger traffic towards the vicinity of the Miss Universe Garden.

There is also a mini-garden at the runway side of the terminal that contains a grotto.

Airport Master Plan[edit]

Third Airport Development Project[edit]

The Dipolog Airport upgrading project was part of The 1997 Third Airport Development Project, a six-airport package which was supposed to be funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the European Investment Bank (EIB), and the Philippine government with its counterpart fund. However, the Philippine government failed to provide on the counterpart fund for the $93 million project. The ADB loan was cancelled effective May 31, 2003.[7]

Scope of Work[edit]

Designs for rehabilitation and upgrading were undertaken by COWI-NACO JV, with three local sub-consultants: TransAsia, Basic Team and COWI Philippines.[8] The scope of works included:

  1. Runway rehabilitation, extension and widening, and improvements of taxiways and aprons
  2. Grading of safety areas adjacent to the runway
  3. Construction of proper fencing between airside and landside areas
  4. Installation of x-ray equipment
  5. Upgrading of terminal and construction of new cargo building and other support facilities to increase service levels to handle forecast traffic for year 2010
  6. Installation of runway, approach lights and navigational aids in order to meet the international ICAO safety and security standards
  7. Expansion of utility facilities such as water supply and sewage treatment and
  8. Improvements of landside parking facilities.

As of April 2007, only items number one, two, five, six, and seven were not yet implemented due to huge budgetary requirements.

Southern Philippines Airport Development Project[edit]

DOTC repackaged the project in 2005 into the Southern Philippines Airport Development Project for funding. By 2006, ADB reconsidered Dipolog Airport as one of only three of the six airport projects to be considered for funding based on the request of airline companies operating on the approved airports,[9] commercial viability, and passenger traffic.[10]

ADB Proposed Project Package[edit]

  • Total Project cost estimate: 731 Million Pesos[11][12]
  • Government Counterpart: PHP 115 million
    • Repair and Completion of shoreline protection structure (seawall) and land reclamation[13][14][15]
  • Currency rate conversion: 57 PHP per 1 USD
  • Date of Completion: 2009


The airport as seen above
  • Runway extension, widening and asphalt overlay of the entire length
    • 2,500 X 45 meters
  • expansion of the taxiway, apron and terminal building
  • construction of cargo building
  • installation of approach lights ILS and radar equipment


  1. ^ Volume of Air Passengers and Air Cargo (Air Cargo in Metric Tons) Archived April 22, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.Air Transportation Office, retrieved April 23, 2009
  2. ^ Aircraft, Passenger and Cargo Traffic-Dipolog Airport Archived September 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. Accessed May 14, 2007
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ a b Smith, R.R., 2005, Triumph in the Philippines, Honolulu: University Press of the Pacific, ISBN 1410224953
  5. ^ [2]
  6. ^ [3]
  7. ^ [4]
  8. ^ [5]
  9. ^ [6]
  10. ^ [7]
  11. ^ [8]
  12. ^ [9]
  13. ^ [10]
  14. ^ [11]
  15. ^ [12]

External links[edit]