Time to Make Davao Airport Truly International{7}

Francisco Bangoy International Airport

Have you flown into Davao City from outside of the country? Did you go through Manila? Chances are very good that you did. Why? Because there are very few international flights that fly in and out of Davao Airport.

Francisco Bangoy International Airport is an “international” airport, as it’s official name states. There are a couple of flights that fly to and from Singapore, but as far as I know that is all there is at this point. When I’ve looked into trying to hook up with one of those, not only was the timing incredibly difficult to accommodate but the cost was also prohibitive.

The main issue to date has been the lack of an “open sky” policy within the Philippines. Airlines such as Philippine Airlines, are opposed to such a policy, as the feeling is they would be adversely affected by outside competition. Even still, from what I’ve read, an Executive Order has been signed to allow secondary airports such as Davao, Cebu, and Cagayan de Oro City to start accepting selective international flights. What airlines, and when they might start, is unknown. Again, there is a lot of opposition to this EO. There have been attempts to implement open skies in previously, and they failed.

My reasons for wanting Davao to get more international flight are admittedly selfish. I REALLY dislike flying into Manila to get to Davao. Ninoy Aquino International Airport, as most of you know, is extremely busy, crowded and to to a large degree run down. It is always the least favorite part of my trip, trying to maneuver to and through the airport in Manila. Even finding the correct terminal can be an adventure, but it’s an evil that must be navigated. Flying into and out of Davao would not only save me from the stressful plight at Ninoy Aquino International Airport, but also add days to my trip there.

I really like the airport in Davao. It is much smaller, as would be expected, but appears much cleaner and friendlier, too. Access is fairly easy. It’s not difficult to find your terminal there. Lines can get long, but nothing like the multiple long lines you will encounter in Manila. I can’t even remember how many different lines I need to go through in Manila, but every time I think I’m done, there is another.

Anki Bisaya Phrasebook Flashcards

I don’t know how much tourism Davao loses because of the lack of international flights. If an individual is going to meet family or friends, obviously they are going to make the neccesary connections to get to Davao. But what about business, conventions, meetings, etc., wouldn’t it be much easier just to have stay right in Manila? Why add the extra cost, travel time, and hassle of continuing on to Davao? I wonder if there has been any studies done in this regard, because it seems it could significantly impact tourism.

There are always pluses and minuses to a situation. “Careful what you wish for” could be applicable here. If Davao Airpot did suddenly start accepting more international flights, could the airport support a large increase in traffic? Would it turn into the sea of bodies seen at customs and counters at Ninoy Aquino International Airport? Not if done with foresight and planning, but that is certainly one of the detriments of increasing international traffic.

Longterm, I think that there will need to be flights to Japan, Korea, Tawain, Malaysia or similar destinations from Davao. A well thought out and carefully implemented plan is my hope.