Puerto Princesa International Airport

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Puerto Princesa International Airport

Paliparang Pandaigdig ng Puerto Princesa
Puerto Princesa International Airport Outside 1.jpg
Summary
Airport typePublic
Owner/OperatorCivil Aviation Authority of the Philippines
ServesPuerto Princesa
Focus city forAir Juan[1]
Time zonePHT (UTC+08:00)
Elevation AMSL22 m / 71 ft
Coordinates09°44′31″N 118°45′32″E / 9.74194°N 118.75889°E / 9.74194; 118.75889Coordinates: 09°44′31″N 118°45′32″E / 9.74194°N 118.75889°E / 9.74194; 118.75889
Map
PPS/RPVP is located in Philippines
PPS/RPVP
PPS/RPVP
Location in the Philippines
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
09/27[a] 2,600 8,530 Asphalt concrete
Statistics (2022)
Passengers1,121,373
Increase 746.83%
Aircraft movements8,931
Increase 53.72%
Cargo (in kg)14,139,882
Increase 7.67%
Source: CAAP[2]

Puerto Princesa International Airport (Filipino: Paliparang Pandaigdig ng Puerto Princesa; IATA: PPS, ICAO: RPVP) is an airport serving the general area of Puerto Princesa, located in the province of Palawan in the Philippines. It is classified as an international airport by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines.

The airport is the main gateway to the Puerto Princesa Underground River, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.

History[edit]

World War II[edit]

The airport was built by American prisoners of war during the World War II from August 1942 to September 1944. It was used to accommodate large Japanese transport aircraft to complement the grass airstrip south of the present-day location of NCCC Mall Palawan in Lacao Street. The airstrip was constructed by hand by the POWs using crushed corals for illuminating night landings. The finished airfield has an area of 2,195 by 206 meters (7,200 by 675 ft) with two runways.

On December 14, 1944, occupying Japanese soldiers herded 150 remaining American POWs that constructed the airstrip into air raid trenches, doused them with gasoline, set them afire, then machine-gunned and bayoneted them to death. Among them was Army Capt. Fred Bruni, the Palawan POWs’ senior officer, who was from Janesville, Wisconsin with the 192nd Tank Battalion. Only eleven men escaped the Palawan massacre to be rescued by guerrillas. The story of their ordeal persuaded General Douglas MacArthur that the rumored order for the retreating Japanese to “kill all” prisoners was being implemented, thus his rush to liberate the Philippines.

Imperial Japanese Army Air Force units based at this airstrip included the 71st Sentai Squadron (September 1944 – Early 1945).[3]

Post-war[edit]

The old terminal located at the other side of the runway which has since been closed to passenger traffic since 2017.

After liberation of the Palawan in April 1945, a number of US Army Air Forces units were stationed at the airport facility. These included the XIII Fighter Command (1 March 1945 – November 1945), 42d Bombardment Group (March 1945 – January 1946), 347th Fighter Group (6 March – December 1945), 419th Night Fighter Squadron (6 March 1945 – 10 January 1946), and the 550th Night Fighter Squadron (DET) (9–19 June 1945).[3]

US Army and Navy Engineers of the 1897th Engineer Aviation Battalion and the 84th Naval Construction Battalion immediately rehabilitated the facility and completed as a military airbase in March 1945.[3] The Army and Navy engineers expanded the airfield, strengthening the runway by laying steel Marston Mats and concrete, adding air control facilities and tanks to store oil and aviation fuel.

Puerto Princesa opened to air travel as early as 1947. The first scheduled route, operated by Philippine Airlines (PAL), was from Manila to Puerto Princesa via San Jose, Mindoro and vice versa. The flight was scheduled during Wednesdays utilizing the DC-3 aircraft. During the early 1960s, Puerto Princesa catered its first direct flight from Manila using the Vickers Viscount aircraft and welcomed its first jet service via BAC 1-11 by the late 1970, both of which are operated by PAL.[4] By the late 1990s, Puerto Princesa Airport welcomed its first wide-body aircraft service with Airbus A300 dubbed as the "Love Bus" operated by PAL.

Expansion and contemporary history[edit]

The new terminal as seen from the apron.

To meet the growing air transportation demands of Puerto Princesa and the province of Palawan, in 2014, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) awarded a $82.9-million (₱2.616 billion) contract to the joint venture of Kumho Industrial Co. Ltd. and GS Engineering & Construction for the construction of new passenger terminal and cargo terminal building, a new apron, connecting taxiways, new state-of-the-art air navigation system, and other support facilities in compliance with the international civil aviation standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).[5] The new terminal was officially inaugurated on May 3, 2017 and opened for commercial operations on the next day.[6]

Philippine Airlines operated chartered flights from China, South Korea, and Taiwan in 2018.[7] Meanwhile, Tigerair Taiwan launched commercial international flights to the airport from Taipei on June 7, 2019.[8] Cebu Pacific also launched flights to Hong Kong from the airport on November 17 of that year.[9] In March 2020, international flights were suspended due to the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, along with flights in Manila and Clark.[10]

Structures[edit]

Terminal[edit]

Inside the departure hall.

The airport has a 13,000-square-meter (140,000 sq ft) two-level passenger terminal with a capacity of two million passengers annually and a seating capacity of 1,500. It was built by the joint venture of Kumho Industrial Co. Ltd. and GS Engineering & Construction. Its apron has six aircraft bays (four for narrow-body aircraft and two for wide-body aircraft as large as the Airbus A330, Airbus A350 and Boeing 787).[11] The terminal has a Mabuhay Lounge by Philippine Airlines[12] and a PAGSS Lounge.[13] The terminal also has a seating capacity of 1,500. Outside the terminal is a parking lot with a capacity of 200 cars.[14]

The new terminal replaced the 3,000-square-meter (32,000 sq ft) old passenger terminal with an annual capacity of 350,000 passengers[5] and an apron with four parking bays.[14]

Runway[edit]

The airport consists of a single 2,600-meter-long (8,500 ft) and 45-meter-wide (148 ft)[15] runway running at a direction of 09°/27°. The airport shares its single runway with Antonio Bautista Air Base. The runway is equipped with an instrument landing system, runway lights, and approach landing lights making the airport capable of nighttime operations as well as low visibility landings.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

AirlinesDestinations
Air Juan Busuanga, Cuyo, San Vicente, Sipalay, Taytay
AirSWIFT Manila
Cebu Pacific Cebu, Iloilo (resumes June 23, 2023),[16] Manila
PAL Express Cebu, Manila
Philippines AirAsia Cebu, Manila
Sunlight Air Charter: Manila[17]
Tigerair Taiwan Taipei–Taoyuan

Statistics[edit]

Data from Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).[2]

Annual passenger traffic at PPS airport. See Wikidata query.
Year Passenger movements Aircraft movements Cargo movements (in kg)
Domestic International Total % change Domestic International Total % change Domestic International Total % change
2003 195,975 0 195,975 Steady 3,346 0 3,346 Steady 5,001,051 0 5,001,051 Steady
2004 271,769 161 271,930 Increase 38.76 4,390 12 4,402 Increase 31.56 4,500,599 4,500,599 Decrease 10.01
2005 267,778 0 267,778 Decrease 1.53 3,916 0 3,916 Decrease 11.04 4,744,915 0 4,744,915 Increase 5.43
2006 284,110 0 284,110 Increase 6.10 3,780 0 3,780 Decrease 3.47 3,912,209 0 3,912,209 Decrease 17.55
2007 392,039 0 392,039 Increase 37.99 4,538 0 4,538 Increase 20.05 4,480,615 0 4,480,615 Increase 14.53
2008 444,878 0 444,878 Increase 13.48 4,990 0 4,990 Increase 9.96 4,580,557 0 4,580,557 Increase 2.23
2009 584,186 0 584,186 Increase 31.31 4,236 0 4,236 Decrease 15.11 5,439,799 0 5,439,799 Increase 18.76
2010 807,916 0 807,916 Increase 38.30 3,760 0 3,760 Decrease 11.24 8,972,631 0 8,972,631 Increase 64.94
2011 988,972 0 988,972 Increase 22.41 4,248 0 4,248 Increase 12.98 9,294,017 0 9,294,017 Increase 3.58
2012 1,322,925 0 1,322,925 Increase 33.77 12,046 0 12,046 Increase 183.57 10,938,901 0 10,938,901 Increase 17.70
2013 1,357,531 12,894 1,370,425 Increase 3.59 10,512 2,684 13,196 Increase 9.55 12,699,299 12,699,299 Increase 16.09
2014 1,371,651 6,929 1,378,580 Increase 0.60 13,130 224 13,354 Increase 1.20 15,038,825 15,038,825 Increase 18.42
2015 1,564,914 26,804 1,591,718 Increase 15.46 14,222 184 14,406 Increase 7.88 14,278,467 133,614 14,412,081 Decrease 4.17
2016 1,612,640 31,363 1,644,003 Increase 3.28 13,813 191 14,004 Decrease 2.79 17,136,857 116,870 17,253,727 Increase 19.72
2017 1,767,157 22,958 1,790,115 Increase 8.89 15,682 155 15,837 Increase 13.09 16,173,990 833,190 17,007,180 Decrease 1.43
2018 2,046,628 99,722 2,146,350 Increase 19.90 19,404 683 20,087 Increase 26.84 16,955,042 13,029 16,968,071 Decrease 0.23
2019 2,019,542 144,189 2,163,731 Increase 0.81 17,423 1,033 18,456 Decrease 8.12 20,042,720 20,042,720 Increase 18.12
2020 453,610 21,712 475,322 Decrease 78.03 6,375 194 6,569 Decrease 64.41 9,730,214 9,730,214 Decrease 51.4
2021 132,420 132,420 Decrease 72.14 5,801 9 5,810 Decrease 11.55 13,132,851 13,132,851 Increase 34.97
2022 1,121,047 326 1,121,373 Increase 746.83 8,923 9 8,931 Increase 53.72 14,139,882 14,139,882 Increase 7.67

An em dash (—) is used when data from CAAP is not available.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On January 11, 2011, Cebu Pacific Flight 645, an Airbus A319 from Manila with 129 passengers and 6 crews on board, swerved off the runway upon landing after touchdown. Though the pilot maneuvered the aircraft back to the runway, the aircraft sustained substantial damage on its nose and main landing gear with other damages on the left and right engine fan blades, aircraft underbelly and underwings. No one on board was injured.[18]
  • On April 11, 2012, a Cebu Pacific Airbus A320 (as Flight 640 departing for Manila) clipped the wingtip of a Zest Airways Airbus A320 while sitting on the apron around 6:30 p.m. The incident severed Zest Airways' navigation lights forcing the airline to cancel their return flight to Manila.[19]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Runway 09 is 2,400 meters (7,900 ft) long with a displaced threshold of 220 meters (720 ft).

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Air Juan Philippine Flight Destinations". Air Juan Aviation, Inc. Archived from the original on May 23, 2018. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Aircraft, Passenger, and Cargo Movements". Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines. Retrieved February 11, 2023.
  3. ^ a b c "Puerto Princesa Airfield (Palawan)". Pacific Wrecks. Retrieved November 21, 2022.
  4. ^ "Philippine Airlines - PAL".
  5. ^ a b "Kumho-GS joint venture wins Puerto Princesa Airport project in Phillipines". Airport Technology. May 19, 2014. Retrieved November 21, 2022.
  6. ^ "Puerto Princesa International Airport Terminal opens on May 4 - Palawan News". Palawan News. Archived from the original on February 20, 2018. Retrieved May 3, 2017.
  7. ^ Formoso, Celeste Anna (July 26, 2018). "Int'l direct flights boost tourist arrivals in Puerto Princesa". Philippine News Agency. Retrieved November 21, 2022.
  8. ^ Policarpio, Peter (June 11, 2019). "Tigerair's new Taiwan – Puerto Princesa flight lands in Palawan". Palawan Daily News. Retrieved November 21, 2022.
  9. ^ Borda, Sevedeo III (November 18, 2019). "Cebu Pacific inaugurates Palawan to Hong Kong and Clark routes". Palawan Daily News. Retrieved November 21, 2022.
  10. ^ Balinbin, Arjay L.; Cortez, Gillian M. (March 17, 2020). "Philippine capital suspends international flights". BusinessWorld. Retrieved November 21, 2022.
  11. ^ Manabat, Jacque (May 3, 2017). "New Puerto Princesa International Airport opens". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved November 21, 2022.
  12. ^ "Domestic Lounge". www.philippineairlines.com. Retrieved December 20, 2020.
  13. ^ "PAGSS Lounge PPS Airport Lounges Puerto Princesa International". www.prioritypass.com. Retrieved December 20, 2020.
  14. ^ a b "LOOK: Puerto Princesa International Airport's new terminal". Rappler. May 4, 2017. Retrieved November 21, 2022.
  15. ^ "Development, Operations and Maintenance of Puerto Princesa Airport" (PDF). Public-Private Partnership Center.
  16. ^ "Cebu Pacific to resume more flights from Iloilo". BusinessWorld Online. Retrieved March 9, 2023.
  17. ^ "Sunlight Air launches Manila-Cebu cargo flights, to launch Bacolod and Cagayan de Oro soon". www.aviationupdatesph.com. June 8, 2021. Retrieved June 9, 2021.
  18. ^ "Aircraft Accident Investigation and Inquiry Board Aircraft Accident Report" (PDF). CAAP. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  19. ^ Dinglasan, Rouchelle R. (April 10, 2012). "Cebu Pacific nicks Zest Air plane on Palawan airport tarmac". GMA News. Retrieved November 21, 2022.

Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Air Force.

External links[edit]