Paliparang Pandaigdig ng Zamboanga, Chavacano and Spanish: Aeropuerto Internacional de
Zamboanga) is the main airport serving
City in the Philippines. The airport is Mindanao's
third-busiest airport after Francisco
Bangoy International Airport in Davao
City and Lumbia Airport in Cagayan de Oro City.
It is the gateway to one of Southeast Asia
's fastest growing business and
culture hubs and to the entire Western Mindanao area. The airport
covers a total land area of 270 hectares.
The airport is officially classified as an international airport by
Aviation Authority of the Philippines
, the same agency that
runs not only Zamboanga International Airport, but all other
airports in the Philippines except the major international
South East Asian Airlines
and Zest Airways
remarked the Zamboanga
International Airport as one of their focus city.
airport started off as Moret Field, an American airfield that was constructed from a
rather poor Japanese airfield just north of Zamboanga.
The Zamboanga International Airport in
Construction started just after American forces landed at the
present location, last March 15, 1945. And there by inside by the
Philippine Commonwealth troops in Zamboanga. It was improved by a
airfield construction unit using
considerable Filipino labor. When completed, the single runway was
about 4,500 feet long aligned SW to NE. There were two adjacent
along both sides of the runway with
revertment areas. At the peak of operations in 1945, there were
about 300 aircraft flying from the airfield. The vast majority were
United States Marine
aircraft from Marine
Aircraft Group 24
which were supporting U.S. Army infantry
operations on Mindanao but also ranging down the Sulu area as far
Subsequent improvements increased its capacity to hold flights.
airport used to service nearby international destinations in the
past, such as Labuan and Sandakan in Malaysia via Philippine
Airlines; these international services were eventually
The Philippine Airlines, in particular, cut its
services during the Asian
, when it was struggling to keep afloat.
December 10, 2004, South Phoenix
Airways announced their international flights to Sandakan and
Kinabalu in Malaysia,
but it was eventually cut due to poor load of passengers.
Likewise, Asian Spirit
service to Sandakan on May 2, 2007, restarting Zamboanga's
international operations. The Zamboanga-Sandakan route and other
international routes are expected to grow with the signing of a
BIMP-EAGA open skies
with Indonesia's Sriwijaya Air
planning to fly the Zamboanga-Sandakan route.
International Airport, along with all other international airports
in the Philippines, was placed under the control of the Manila
International Airport Authority under Executive Order No.
341, signed by
on August 4, 2004. The changes in management
were slated to take effect in June 2007, although it is unknown
whether or not the change in management did take place.
C17 of US Air force in Zamboanga
Due to the US-RP Agreement, the US Air force used the Airport while
the Balikatan exercise held on this city. The biggest aircraft to
land in Zamboanga International Airport is the Russian Antonov An-124
-100 Ruslan made to deliver
helicopters and some equipment for the American base here in
Zamboanga. North American
Airlines Boeing 757
chartered to transport American soldiers from Guam to Zamboanga.
Boeing C-17 Globemaster IIIs
flying from Okinawa come to
Zamboanga every now and then. Gemini Air Cargo
was once in Zamboanga Airport for delivery of
the materials needed for the US Air
There were plans to transfer the airport to a 104-hectare lot
located between Barangays Talabaan and Taluksangay, possibly making
it the largest airport in Mindanao. However, this plan was shelved
after the loan application for the project was turned down,
resulting in a lack of funding.
Currently, the proposed plan of transferring the present airport in
Sta Maria and Barangay
San Roque has finally pushed through with
the proposed of the new Zamboanga International Airport somewhere
in Brgy. Mercedes, Brgy. Taluksangay and Brgy. Talabaan now ongoing
The national government throug the DOTC
alloted 15 million pesos for the feasibility study of the project.
In November 2008, Asian
(ADB) consultants as well as engineers from
Davao City conducted occular inspection at the new airport
The project components will include:
- Construction of New Terminal that will accommodate more
- Construction of 6 Jet bridges on the proposed New
- Construction of new 3,440 metre long runway, to accommodate
more and bigger planes.
- Construction of new taxiways and aprons.
- Construction of a new Modern Control Tower.
Once it is completed, the new international airport will have the
- 6 Jet Bridges
- 3,440 meter runway
- can accommodate up to 8 Million passengers per year
December 21, 2007 - The Philippine Department of Transportation and
Communications (DOTC) has allotted some P257 million (US$5.2
million) for the improvement of Zamboanga Airport in Zamboanga
Earlier, a consortium of international and local investors, offered
to construct a modern airport in the city under a
build-operate-transfer (BOT) scheme. The proposal was given to the
Air Transportation Office
(ATO) by the consortium of investors from Germany, France, Japan,
Guam and the Philippines. At least 16 international airlines are
expected to fly between the city and its neighboring countries per
Civil Aeronautics Board
October 28, 2008 - Zamboanga International Airport Authority has
finalize that observers and engineers is going to have an ocular
inspection on the area's plan, to see the cost of the project and
the other prospect details. It says that everything will start this
coming month (November) reporter said.
March 6, 2009 - Releasing the Feasibility Study of Zamboanga
International Airport Development Project by the Department of
Transportation and Communication (DOTC).
Airlines and Destinations
Future and Planned Airlines and Destinations
- AirAsia Bhd. seek more flights in The Philippines. Mr.
Fernandes said he wants to open a new link destinations in the
Philippines by this year 2009, particularly in Cebu, Davao, Manila
and Zamboanga using Thai AirAsia and
South East Asian Airlines
- Seair has a planned to
open a new route destination from Zamboanga to Kota Kinabalu
(Malaysia) as one of their expansion planned since last year
- Zest Airways former Asian Spirit
continuing and its expansion planned to start a flights from
Zamboanga to Cebu and Sandakan (Malaysia) by July 22. It has also a
planned resume and to open a new routes from Zamboanga to Jolo,
Tawi-tawi and Caticlan.
Volume of Air Passengers and Air Cargo
From year 2001 - 2008
|Air Cargo (t)
Zamboanga International Airport has one 2,610-meter primary runway.
The dimensions of the runway are 2,610 meters in length by 45
meters in width, is designated as Runway 09/27 and is capable of
supporting the Boeing 737
. The airport also has
taxiways that measure 25 meters in width. While the runway can
support aircraft as big as the Boeing
, the airport lacks the necessary equipment to facilitate
the landing of large aircraft. There are plans to extend the runway
to 3,000 meters, making it capable of receiving even bigger
The airport, like all other international airports in the
Philippines, has runway lights, which make it possible to support
night landings. This makes 24-hour airport operations
The runway is presently being shared between the airport and the
Edwin Andrews Air Base (EAAB). Military jets and aircraft land and
depart on this runway. At the end of Runway 09 is the street to
Barangay Sta. Maria, and a park. This can be a perfect spot to take
pictures for departing and landing aircraft. At the end of the
Runway 27 is San Roque Street, which hosts a large public cemetery.
It is also a good spot for plane spotting. Each end of the runway
has aprons capable of supporting two Boeing 737s. One of the aprons
in the end of Runway 9 is being used by the Philippine Air Force.
OV-10s, C-130s, and other Air Force and military aircraft are
parked there. While the apron at the end of Runway 27 is available,
but need repairs.
The airport has one terminal and a 30,000 square-meter apron
. The apron has two taxiways. The apron is
capable of supporting 4 Airbus A320s and eight large general
aviation planes simultaneously. There are also plans to add another
apron across the old apron, so that it can accommodate many
aircraft at the same time.
The terminal building has a capacity of 400 passengers. The
terminal houses a metal detector
an X-ray machine
, both located at the
main entrance of the airport and before entering the Pre-Departure
Area. The terminal also has 2 baggage carousels and push carts for
passengers' baggage. The airport has check-in counters for each of
the airlines that serve Zamboanga.
Inside the terminal, there is only one store managed by the Air
Transportation Office. The airport has 3 restrooms. The airport's
terminal was designed by an inspired Muslim architect. Outside the
terminal are the ticketing office of Cebu
, Asian Spirit
and the main
offices of Philippine Airlines
and Air Philippines
. There are also
some stores and travel agencies outside the airport terminal.
The airport also has a modern control
, a fire station
firetrucks. There are hangars on the southwest of the terminal. The
hangars are privately owned by some charter and business airlines.
An old Swift Air Douglas DC-3
on the hangar.
The airport's parking area can accommodate 110 vehicles.
Incidents and accidents
- Last May 3, 2006, Cebu Pacific
flight 393, a Douglas DC-9 from Davao,
was on final approach on Runway 27 at 9:15 am. After touchdown, the
left main gear of the aircraft burst. All 100 passengers were safe,
but the aircraft was stuck on the runway. Because of this, the
airport was closed for 23 hours. Air
Philippines flights to Zamboanga were canceled, as well as all
Philippine Airlines afternoon
flights to and from Zamboanga and Cebu
Pacific flights to Manila. A South East Asian Airlines flight
from Jolo that was about to land in Zamboanga was ordered to go
back due to the incident. The Cebu Pacific Zamboanga office advised
their Manila office about the problem, sending two new landing
gears to Zamboanga. However, since the aircraft was stuck on the
runway, the plane that was going to deliver the planes gear landed
Airport and helicopters of the
Philippine Air Force delivered
the landing gears to the airport. The next day, the aircraft
was removed from the runway and normal airport operations resumed.
Due to the incident, Philippine
Airlines and Air Philippines
were forced to hold special flights.
- Last December 28, 2006, a Philippine Air Force assault
helicopter crashed during an emergency landing Thursday on the
airport's runway. The pilots of the rocket-firing MG520 helicopter,
which is used against al-Qaeda-linked
militants and communist guerrillas, were on a routine maintenance
flight when they decided to make an emergency landing for
still-unclear reasons. The MG530 was damaged and its two pilots
were slightly injured and shaken by the crash landing.
- Volume of Air Passengers for the year 2008
- Moret Field
- EAGA inks open skies agreement, Sun. Star, April 27, 2007
- Manila to take over Zambo airport operations,
February 25, 2007
US-RP Balikatan Exercises], Zamboanga, April 26, 2009
- DOTC shelves Zambo airport transfer,
July 29, 2007