The Zamboanga International Airport, locally known as the Paliparang Pandaigdig ng Zamboanga, or in the local dialect (Chavacano) Aeropuerto Internacional de Zamboanga, is the main airport the city of Zamboanga in the island of Mindanao, Philippines. The airport is the third busiest airport in Mindanao, trailing after the Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City and Lumbia Airport in Cagayan de Oro City. The Zamboanga International is officially classified as an international airport by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines as an international airport, despite only offering scheduled domestic passenger services.
Originally a poorly constructed Japanese airfield just north of the city, it was rehabilitated by the U.S. Army upon their arrival in March of 1945. Subsequent improvements were done in the next years that came, giving way to international services to nearby Malaysia. Upon the dawn of the Asian financial crisis, major carrier Philippine Airlines cut the international services to Malaysia to keep the company afloat. By 2004 onwards, several airlines have tried to provide international flights, however low demand and poor load of passengers caused the airlines to discontinue the services.
Today, the airport serves as a major gateway to the province and city of Zamboanga, which is an emerging tourism destination in the Philippines. Albeit the current political strife and situation in the area, Zamboanga is still visited by tourists for its plantations and several beaches.
The airport has one terminal and a 30,000-square meter apron. The terminal has a traditional design, with several pointed roofs that are reminiscent of local architecture. The terminal's apron, meanwhile, has two taxiways, which can support up to four Airbus A320s and eight large general aviation planes simultaneously. The terminal building can handle 400 passengers at one time, and has complete security and pre-flight facilities.
Services and Facilities
The Zamboanga International Airport has one paved runway that measures 2,610 meters. It is designated as runway 09/27, capable of supporting big Boeing 737s and the Airbus A320. The airport also has taxiways that measure 25 meters in width. While the runway can support big aircraft, the airport lacks necessary equipment to facilitate the landing of bigger aircraft. Furthermore, the airport also has a modern control tower, a fire station, privately owned hangars, and a parking area that can accommodate 110 vehicles. Commercial services are provided by local airlines Cebu Pacific, which flies to Cebu, Davao, Manila, and Tawi-Tawi, and Philippine Airlines as operated by PAL Express, which flies to Davao and Manila. Two cargo airlines, 2GO and Pacific East Asia Cargo Airlines, also run services from the airport.