Map - Legazpi Airport (Legazpi International Airport)

Legazpi Airport (Legazpi International Airport)
Legazpi Airport (Filipino: Paliparan ng Legazpi, Bikol: Palayogan nin Legazpi, ) was a major airport in the Bicol Region, served the vicinity of Legazpi, the capital city of Albay in the Philippines.

Prior to its closure, the airport was designated as a Class 1 principal domestic Airport by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, a body of the Department of Transportation that is responsible for the operations of not only this airport but also of all other public airports in the Philippines except the major international airports.

The airport was replaced by the new and larger Bicol International Airport in 2021.

The site of the former Legazpi Airport used to be the Sanborn Field. This former US airfield opened in the early 1900s. During World War II, the airport was occupied by Japanese forces from 1941 until the airport was liberated by the United States Army in 1945. Commercial operations started the following year.

The jet age came to Legazpi in the late 1960s and by the 1970s Philippine Airlines (PAL) introduced regular service to/from Manila using British Aircraft Corporation's BAC 1-11s. In the late 1980s PAL introduced Boeing 737-300s. YS-11s provided airlink to Mactan, Cebu, Masbate, and Virac. When PAL phased out the YS-11s and the short-lived Shorts SD-360 'Sunriser,' Fokker 50s replaced them. Before the debilitating labor strike in 1998 which caused PAL to temporarily cease operation, Legazpi Airport served as the airline's hub in Bicol, serving Manila, Cebu, Masbate, Virac, even Catarman in Samar. Today, it serves local clients and transient passengers from southern Camarines Sur and the province of Sorsogon.

Aside from PAL, Filipinas Orient Airways and Air Manila International served the airport before 1972, the declaration of martial law in the Philippines. Through the years, other airlines came and went: Air Philippines for some time served Legazpi with YS-11s and 737-200s. Asian Spirit served Pili for flights to/from Manila and Cebu and has since ceased operations with six million pesos in collectibles from local (Naga or Pili) franchisees. Asian Spirit also planned to introduce flights to Virac and Masbate before its rebranding as Zest Airways. At present, Aboitiz cargo regularly calls on Legazpi. South East Asian Airlines, using the 19-seat LET-410. plies Cebu-Legazpi-Cebu Mondays and Fridays.

When Pope John Paul II visited the Philippines in 1981, his itinerary included the city of Legazpi. The papal plane was a chartered PAL Boeing 727 tri-jet. President Ferdinand Marcos arrived in his own jet; First Lady Imelda and the then-Minister of Defense, Juan Ponce Enrile, arrived with their own retinues on separate jets.

In the mid-1990s, a Harrier jumpjet of the US Marines made an emergency landing here. Nearby Alicia Hotel housed the unexpected guests for days while the aircraft was repaired. During that time, day and night, the airport site became an aviation museum of sorts with curious on-lookers taking a glimpse at the heavily guarded fighter plane, exactly the same piece used in the Schwarzenegger film True Lies.

In February 2000, during a lull in nearby Mayon Volcano's eruption (which suspended regular commercial service), a chartered Boeing 727 from Guam landed, bringing relief goods for evacuees.

On September 15, 2001, coming home from her state visit to Japan, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo flew to Legazpi non-stop from Tokyo using a chartered PAL Airbus A320, highlighting the capability of the airport to handle international air traffic. On November 26, 2003, a Cebu Pacific DC-9-32 brought delegates to the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) convention on a charter flight from Cebu. 
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Country - Philippines
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The Philippines (Pilipinas), officially the Republic of the Philippines (Republika ng Pilipinas), is an archipelagic country in Southeast Asia. It is situated in the western Pacific Ocean and consists of around 7,641 islands that are broadly categorized under three main geographical divisions from north to south: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The Philippines is bounded by the South China Sea to the west, the Philippine Sea to the east, and the Celebes Sea to the southwest. It shares maritime borders with Taiwan to the north, Japan to the northeast, Palau to the east and southeast, Indonesia to the south, Malaysia to the southwest, Vietnam to the west, and China to the northwest. The Philippines covers an area of 300,000 km2 and,, it had a population of around 109 million people, making it the world's thirteenth-most-populous country. The Philippines has diverse ethnicities and cultures throughout its islands. Manila is the country's capital, while the largest city is Quezon City; both lie within the urban area of Metro Manila.

Negritos, some of the archipelago's earliest inhabitants, were followed by successive waves of Austronesian peoples. Adoption of animism, Hinduism and Islam established island-kingdoms called Kedatuan, Rajahnates, and Sultanates. The arrival of Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese explorer leading a fleet for Spain, marked the beginning of Spanish colonization. In 1543, Spanish explorer Ruy López de Villalobos named the archipelago Las Islas Filipinas in honor of Philip II of Spain. Spanish settlement through Mexico, beginning in 1565, led to the Philippines becoming ruled by the Spanish Empire for more than 300 years. During this time, Catholicism became the dominant religion, and Manila became the western hub of trans-Pacific trade. In 1896, the Philippine Revolution began, which then became entwined with the 1898 Spanish–American War. Spain ceded the territory to the United States, while Filipino revolutionaries declared the First Philippine Republic. The ensuing Philippine–American War ended with the United States establishing control over the territory, which they maintained until the Japanese invasion of the islands during World War II. Following liberation, the Philippines became independent in 1946. Since then, the unitary sovereign state has often had a tumultuous experience with democracy, which included the overthrow of a decades-long dictatorship by a nonviolent revolution.
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