Subic Bay International Airport

Subic Bay International Airport

Infobox Airport
name = Subic Bay International Airport
nativename = Paliparang Pandaigdig ng Look ng Subic
type = Public
operator = Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority
city-served = Olongapo City
location = Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Subic, Zambales
elevation-f = 64
elevation-m = 19
coordinates = Coord|14|47|40.02|N|120|16|16.91|E|type:airport
metric-elev = yes
metric-rwy = yes
r1-number = 07L/25R
r1-length-f = 9,003
r1-length-m = 2,728
r1-surface = Asphalt

Subic Bay International Airport (Filipino: "Paliparang Pandaigdig ng Look ng Subic") or SBIA airport codes|SFS|RPLB serves as a secondary airport and a main diversion airport of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. It is also the airport serving the immediate area of the Subic Bay Freeport Zone and the general area of Olongapo City in the Philippines. This airport used to be the Naval Air Station Cubi Point of the United States Navy. Its airport terminal has 2 gates.


In 1950, Admiral Arthur W. Radford, Commander-in-chief of the Pacific US Fleet, envisioned an army base in the Western Pacific to enhance Seventh Fleet capabilities. In 1951, construction started on the Subic Bay Naval Base. In 1952, Admiral Radford made his first landing at Cubi Point. In 1991, Mount Pinatubo exploded, burying Cubi Point into 18-36 inches of ash. Despite this, the American government wanted to keep the Subic Naval Base and signed a treaty with the Philippine government. The treaty was not ratified, however, failing by a slim margin in the Philippine Senate. Attempts to negotiate a new treaty was soon abandoned and the Americans were told to withdraw within a year. They left in November 1992 turning over the base with its airport to the Philippine government. Initially some 8,000 volunteers guarded the facility and prevented looters from damaging the airport. The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, or SBMA, was created by intense lobby of Mayor Richard Gordon to manage the facility under Republic Act No. 7227. He was appointed first Chairman and Administrator.

Twenty days after the leaving of the Americans, the airport ushered in its first commercial flight from Taiwan via Makung. In February 1993, NAS Cubi Point was converted to Cubi Point International Airport, a few months later, it was renamed Subic Bay International Airport. To herald its designation as an international airport, President Fidel V. Ramos and SBMA Chairman Richard Gordon chose to arrive from an official visit to the United States using the airport. [ "MILESTONES IN THE HISTORY OF PAL"] ] This flight also proved the capabilities of the airport as the President arrived aboard the delivery flight of Philippine Airlines's first Boeing 747-400. Construction of the present runway commenced in 1993 [ Hanjin Heavy Industries Construction] and completed in April 1995 in time for the inaugural landing of FedEx Express MD-11 and opening of its AsiaOne hub at SBIA. In time for the 4th APEC Leaders' Summit, the new passenger terminal built by [ Summa Kumagai] was inaugurated in November 4, 1996. In 1997, SBIA topped the 100,000th passenger count. In 2006, there is limited, regularly scheduled commercial flights from Subic.

Airport Facilities

Subic Bay International Airport boasts of modern facilities, which include the following:

*10,000-square metre passenger terminal
*2 stearn jetways
*Closed-circuit television (CCTV)

Airlines and destinations

*Pacific Pearl Airways (Cebu, Kalibo, Puerto Princesa, Seoul-Incheon) [ [ "Philippine Government News Update"] , Accessed August 2007] [ [ "Korea-Subic budget flight set for takeoff"] , Accessed August 2007] [ [ "Pacific Pearl Airways Launched at Subic"] , Accessed September 2007]

Airlines and destinations

*Pacific Pearl Airways (Cebu, Kalibo, Puerto Princesa, Seoul-Incheon) [ [ "Philippine Government News Update"] , Accessed August 2007] [ [ "Korea-Subic budget flight set for takeoff"] , Accessed August 2007] [ [ "Pacific Pearl Airways Launched at Subic"] , Accessed September 2007]

Cargo airlines

*Corporate Air
*FedEx Express
*Vietnam Airlines

The airport was a hub of FedEx Express, they have recently signed an extension of lease in Subic Bay International Airport through 2010. The company also signed an agreement to reserve space for use as a potential hub at Diosdado Macapagal International Airport. The reason for the move would have been the company's decision to use the Airbus A380, an aircraft that SBIA cannot support. However, FedEx recently cancelled their order of A380 due to delays in delivery. They are also exploring Baiyun Airport in China as a potential hub. [ [ "Fedex Press Release"] , Accessed September 2007]


Subic Bay International Airport hosted a number of wide-bodied aircraft during the seventh APEC Summit in 1996. They include a chartered Royal Brunei Airlines Airbus A340-200, a Japan Air Self-Defense Force Boeing 747-400, and Air Force One, a Boeing 747-200B, among others.

Incidents and accidents

On December 13, 1995, SBIA became the main diversion airport when the Ninoy Aquino International Airport had a problem with its runway because of Asian Spirit Flight 897. On that day, it served 1,674 passengers from various international airlines while serving 212 passengers from various local airlines.

On October 17, 1999, a FedEx Express MD-11 from Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport, upon landing into Subic Bay's runway 07 rolled onto runway 25, hitting a concrete post and slamming into a wire fence before plunging into the bay. All of the plane submergered, except the cockpit. The aircraft was written off. [ [ ASN Aircraft accident description McDonnell Douglas MD-11F N581FE - Subic Bay International Airport (SFS)] February 2, 2008.]

On August 18, 2007, SBIA became one of the main diversion airports due to "Super Typhoon" Typhoon Sepat (2007) "(also known as Typhoon 'Egay')" which struck Taiwan and parts of China and the Philippines. At least 37 aircraft took shelter in Subic Bay International Airport, 18 of which where Fedex aircraft according to Raymundo Guevarra, head of the Subic Bay International Airport operations center. Raymundo Guevarra also mentioned that SBIA could handle up to 41 aircraft at a time. [ [ "39 planes seek shelter from 'Egay' in Clark, Subic"] , Accessed September 2007] Most of the aircraft which diverted or sought shelter from the Typhoon where from China and Taiwan, numerous inbound and outbound Philippine flights were also delayed and cancelled due to the typhoon. [ [ "(UPDATE 2) ‘Egay’ cancels, delays some domestic flights"] , Accessed September 2007]


External links

* [ SBMA Official Web Site: Subic Bay International Airport]
* [ Subic Bay International Airport]

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