UNBELIEVABLE Info About Airports in the Philippines

I’m sure you’d all agree how beautiful the Philippines is! 7,107 awe-inspiring islands, teeming with natural wonders and warm sincere folk……. so much to see and do….. paradise indeed!

Flower Island, Palawan

Flower Island, Palawan


DOT’s “It’s More Fun in The Philippines” campaign has and is continually reaping a lot of success, however, there’s this vital issue that needs to be addressed right away in order for our tourism to fully “take-off.”

I’m sure you’re familiar about our problem with NAIA being one of the WORST airports in Asia and perhaps in the world………


 We’re #2!!!!!!


Countless articles have circulated both on print and online about NAIA’s horrendous condition and thankfully, due to the spread of awareness and clamor for change brought by the public, NAIA is now undergoing renovations. But you see, NAIA isn’t the only airport here. 

If NAIA is considered one of the WORST, then what more with our other airports?


With the expected huge volume of foreign and local tourists in the coming years (imagine what the government as well as businesses can earn from this), I believe it’ll be EVEN MORE FUN  in the Philippines if we also make improvements in our other local tourist gateways right away…..

First and foremost, our RUNWAYS need to be worked on. Why? Because short and inefficient runways make landings  more challenging for even the most experienced pilots.  Of course, OUR SAFETY IS TOP PRIORITY!


According to a professional pilot, runways in general ideally should have a taxiway aside from having a main runway. Ideally,  runways should have a length of at least an estimate of 9,500ft or 2,900m. With some online researching, (through www.world-airport-codes.com) it’s indeed shocking to discover these data….. (take note that the ideal length should be 9,500ft

Puerto Prinsesa, Palawan8,530 ft   SHORT!!

Caticlan (Boracay)3,116ft  OMG SUPER SHORT!! (that’s why only small planes can land on it)

Kalibo (Boracay): 7,175 ft  TOO SHORT!!

Tagbilaran, Bohol: 5,837ft TOO SHORT!!

Legaspi, Bicol: 7,480 ft TOO SHORT!!

Tacloban, Leyte: 7,014 ft TOO SHORT!!

Davao: 9,842 ft  OK!!

Cebu: 10,827  OK!!

NAIA (Manila): 12,261 ft and  7,408 ft for the 2nd runway

It’s shocking to know that most of the gateways to our top destinations have short runways!!!


Here’s a look at the runway lengths of our ASEAN neighbors….

But before that, why do we need to compare our airports from our ASEAN neighbors?

For example, Thailand and Malaysia are getting millions more tourists than us because they have BIGGER and BETTER airports. We should be able to play head to head and be at par with them as the ASEAN Integration starting this year aims to sell ASEAN as ONE Community. NAIA alone of course isn’t enough as it’s already servicing too much that’s why our other airports need major improvements in order to service the expected volume of tourists.

Kuala Lumpur: 13,530 ft

Bali: 9,790 ft

Phuket: 9,843 ft

Singapore:  13,123 ft and 9,015 ft

Jakarta: 9,843 ft

Brunei: 12,000 ft

How come neighboring countries have the ideal runway length?





According to a professional pilot, runways in general ideally should have a taxiway aside from having a main runway….


1. Runway w/ taxi way

1. Runway w/ taxi way



However in poorer countries like the Philippines who can’t afford a taxi way, runways should at least have a turn-around pad so planes can properly maneuver safely before take-off.

2. Runway with turn-around pad

2. Runway with turn-around pad


Sadly, our very own Kalibo International Airport (gateway to BORACAY ISLAND: one of the world’s best beaches in the world) both do not have a taxi way or at least a turnaround pad as shown here on google maps (you can even check it yourself) ….. 


runways in the philippines-4

Moreover,  Kalibo International Airport services around 80 flights daily but only have 4 parking ramps and also lack significant Navigating & Approach and Runway Lighting facilities making it more challenging to fly to/from KIA even by the most experienced pilots. It’s not just really about the runway, but having the necessary facilities to ensure safety. 


With the unacceptable and unbelievable info about Kalibo International Airport, let’s check the airport runways of other prime Philippine destinations…

runways in the philippines-6

at least they have turnaround pads 


runways in the philippines-5

not so sure if Tagbilaran runway has turnaround pads due to the clouds, but take a look at this…


before tourists get to enjoy this…


Chocolate Hills Bohol

The Famous Chocolate Hills in Bohol


they have to enter Bohol through this….

Tagbilaran Airport Bohol philippines-3

the photo speaks for itself

(sent by one of our readers)


Tagbilaran Airport Bohol philippines

it  has only 1 very small baggage carousel which can only accommodate few bags at a time. How can we accommodate a lot of visitors in Bohol then?

It will surely be chaotic!


Is this the kind of impression you want tourists to remember?  

runways in the philippines

Legazpi airport runway. Gateway to the Mayon Volcano! Looks ok


runways in the philippines-3

Davao airport looks ok as well


All this info is plainly UNACCEPTABLE and DISAPPOINTING especially in the case of Kalibo International Airport  where even proper lighting facilities and a turn-around pad isn’t available for planes to safely maneuver. It’s sad that we private individuals visit and promote places not knowing that all along, our very own airports aren’t ready  to service more incoming tourists. No wonder we often hear about airplane overshoots and other flight related accidents especially when weather conditions aren’t ok. It’s not just really the runways but everything necessary to ensure safety and efficiency.  On the brighter side, our pilots must be REALLY THAT GOOD for still managing to fly successfully despite these horrid conditions. 



What needs to be done for travel to truly be MORE FUN in the PHILIPPINES?

With all the data presented, clearly there is an urgent need for expansion and improvements ASAP!!  High time to lengthen runways, improve pavements marking, comfort rooms, arrival areas and establish LONG TERM improvements once and for all to make local travel not only FUN, but also MORE SAFE in the Philippines!


Bigger and better airports = more tourists, more jobs and  more opportunities for everyone!


Remember, the airport is the 1st thing tourists see when they arrive. We have soooooo much potential and so much beauty to show the world. Clearly, there’s an immediate need for action and support from the authorities. Let’s all work hand in hand to make these improvements a reality as soon as possible.



How about you? What do you think about this issue?

What else do we need to work on in order to improve tourism?

I would love to read your thoughts! =)



Please do share this article for everyone’s awareness.


UNBELIEVABLE Info About Airports in the Philippines 

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