The Iloilo International Airport, also known as Paliparang Pandaigdig ng Iloilo in Filipino and Internasyonal nga Hulugpaan sang Iloilo in Hiligaynon is the main airport serving mainland Iloilo. It is located in Iloilo City, the capital city of the province of Iloilo and the regional center of the western part of the Visayas Region in the Philippines.
After a decade of designing and construction, the Iloilo International Airport unfolded its doors to commercial flights on June 14, 2007. It is a replacement of the old airport known as Mandurriao Airport located in the city proper of Iloilo which has served the province for more than seventy years. As a resolution, the new Iloilo International Airport inherited its IATA and ICAO airport codes.
Known as the fourth busiest airport in the Philippines, the Iloilo International Airport even though it’s dubbed as “international” airport, it is formally denominated as a Class 1 principal (major domestic) airport by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, the body responsible for the operations of all airports in the Philippines.
The Iloilo International Airport is the first airport in the island of Panay and the whole of Western Visayas to be built in terms of international standard. It is considered as one of the four international airports in the Visayas.
Located about 20 kilometers northwest from the city center of Iloilo City, the Iloilo International Airport is situated on a 188-hectare secluded site in Barangay Duyan-Duyan, split between the municipalities of Cabatuan, where the airport proper is located, and Santa Barbara, where the airport entrance and access road are located. The airport composite comprises of a single runway, a variety of maintenance and administrative buildings, waste sorting and water treatment facilities, a power generating station, a cargo terminal and a main passenger terminal. Its location on the Tomas Confesor Highway, a major highway traversing the island, makes the airport accessible from all parts of Iloilo and Panay by road, while its proximity to the currently defunct Panay Railways network could potentially link the airport to the rest of Panay by rail.
The length of the airport runway is 2,500 meters or 8,203 feet. The surface is made of asphalt and the runway direction is 02/20. As of this writing, the International Airport of Iloilo hasn’t catered to international flights yet. Philippine Airlines and Airphil Express flies to and from Cebu and Manila, Cebu Pacific flies to and from Cebu, Davao and Manila and Zest Airways flies to and from Manila only.
The Iloilo International Airport was built for more than 30 months. It is one of the largest airports to be constructed in the country. During its inauguration, then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo commented that the airport was the most beautiful and modern in the country and called it a symbol of both political will and economic maturity.
Coming out from the passenger terminal of the airport, you will instantly notice the “barkers” calling for passengers to avail their v-hire (van for hire) service. There are several drop-off points in Iloilo City where the v-hires will take you – Jaro Plaza, SM City, Molo, Mandurriao, Arevalo, Lapaz among many others. Just be sure where you are headed and tell the barkers which is the best van and drop-off point/s to take. Fares are about P50-P100 per person depending on the distance; rates going outside the city are obviously higher. Sometimes a collector is assigned to collect the fares prior to riding the vehicle while sometimes the drivers collect the fares themselves along the way. For those who simply want to see the historical and tourist attractions of Iloilo, I suggest you take the van bound for Jolibee/SM Supermarket near Jaro Cathedral fronting Graciano Lopez Jaena Park. From the Cathedral, you can take a Lapaz bound jeepney and visit its park and church or choose a different destination you want.