Puerto Princesa International Airport
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.
Puerto Princesa International Airport
Paliparang Pandaigdig ng Puerto Princesa
|Operator||Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines|
|Location||Barangay San Miguel, Puerto Princesa, Palawan|
|Elevation AMSL||22 m / 71 ft|
World War IIEdit
The airport was built by American POWs 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 POW using crushed corals for illuminating night landings. The finished airfield has an area of 7,200 ft by 675 ft with two runways.
On December 14, 1944, occupying Japanese soldiers herded 150 remaining American POWs who had constructed the air strip on Palawan Island (today's Puerto Princesa International Airport and Antonio Bautista Air Base) 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 there were:
- 2nd Air Division (September 1944 – Early 1945)
- 71st Sentai Squadron (September 1944 – Early 1945)
After liberation of the Palawan in April 1945, a number US Army Air Forces units were stationed at the airport facility. These included:
- Headquarters, 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)
- 550th Night Fighter Squadron (DET) (9–19 June 1945)
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 on March 18, 1945. The Army and Navy engineers further expand the airfield, strengthening the runway by laying steel Marston Mats and concrete, adding air control facilities and tanks to store oil and aviation fuel.
During the 1950s, President Ramon Magsaysay opened Puerto Princesa to air travel. The first scheduled route, operated by Philippine Airlines (Philippine Air Lines), was from Puerto Princesa to San Jose, Mindoro and vice versa. By late 90s, Puerto Princesa Airport welcomed its first wide-body aircraft service with Airbus A300 dubbed as the "Love Bus" operated by Philippine Airlines.
Fate of old terminalEdit
The old terminal apron is utilized as an additional parking space for general aviation aircraft as well as large aircraft such as the Airbus A320. As of February 28, 2020, the old terminal is under renovation. It is not clear yet if what the renovation is for.
The Philippine Airlines ticketing office was relocated at the main city proper at Getan Square building.
Terminal and structuresEdit
New passenger terminal complexEdit
To meet the growing air transportation demands of Puerto Princesa and the Province of Palawan, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) awarded the $82.9-million (P2.616 billion) contract to the Kumho Industrial Co. Ltd. GS Engineering & Construction Joint Venture (Kumho-GS), a South Korean company for the construction of new passenger terminal and cargo terminal building, a new apron with 6 aircraft bays (4 for narrow body and 2 for wide body aircraft as large as the Airbus A330, Airbus A350 and Boeing 787), 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). The project was completed 30 months (approximately two years) from the groundbreaking rites.
The new passenger terminal complex has an upgraded handling capacity of 2 million passengers annually, with an estimated peak passenger flow of 690 passengers per hour. It was officially inaugurated last 3 May 2017 and opened for commercial operations on the next day, May 4, 2017.
The airport consists of a single 2,600 meter (8,530 ft.) x 45 m. (approx. 148 ft.) wide runway running at a direction 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.
Phase 2 of the airport development (Approx. at 10th year) includes expansion of the passenger terminal building, construction of a parallel taxiway, additional apron area and a runway extension.
An em dash (—) is used when data from CAAP is not available.
|Year||Domestic (in kg)||International (in kg)||Total (in kg)||Change|
Airlines and destinationsEdit
|Air Juan||Busuanga, Cuyo, San Vicente, Sipalay, Taytay|
|AirSWIFT||Busuanga, El Nido|
|Cebu Pacific||Cebu, Clark, Hong Kong, Iloilo, Manila|
|Eastar Jet||Seoul–Incheon (suspended)|
operated by PAL Express
|Cebu, Clark, Manila|
|Philippines AirAsia||Cebu, Clark, Manila|
|Royal Air Philippines||Cebu, Clark|
Accidents and incidentsEdit
- On January 11, 2011, a Cebu Pacific Airbus A319 registered as RP-C3190 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.
- On April 11, 2012, A departing Cebu Pacific Airbus A320 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 company to cancel their return flight to Manila. By the time of the incident, only Philippine Airlines offers push back vehicle to its aircraft so other airlines will have to do a 180 degree turn to taxi out of the apron. No one is injured during the incident.
The up-close look of the departure hall. The lighting design is inspired from the palm trees, which are common in Palawan.
- "Air Juan Philippine Flight Destinations". Air Juan Aviation, Inc. Archived from the original on May 23, 2018. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
- "Philippines AirAsia (PAA) to make Palawan 4th Hub - The Exciting Centennial of Philippine Aviation". Retrieved September 19, 2017.
- "eFOI - Electronic Freedom of Information - Request". eFOI - Electronic Freedom of Information. Retrieved 21 March 2019.
- "Puerto Princesa International Airport Terminal opens on May 4 - Palawan News". Palawan News. Archived from the original on 2018-02-20. Retrieved 2017-05-03.
- Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (23 July 2018). "Yearly Passenger, Cargo and Aircraft Movements of all airports in the Philippines 1997-2017". Republic of the Philippines - Freedom of Information Portal. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
- "Royal Air Philippines launches Cebu service from late-May 2019". Routesonline.
- "AVIATION: Tigerair to launch direct flights to Palawan Island - Taipei Times". www.taipeitimes.com.
- "Aircraft Accident Investigation and Inquiry Board Aircraft Accident Report" (PDF). CAAP. Retrieved 2017-12-30.
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