Laoag International Airport

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Laoag International Airport
Sangalubongan a Pagpatayaban ti Laoag (Ilocano)
Paliparang Pandaigdig ng Laoag (Filipino)
Laoag International Airport terminal exterior.jpg
Exterior of Laoag International Airport
Airport type Public
Operator Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines
Serves Laoag
Location Laoag, Ilocos Norte, Philippines
Time zone PHT (UTC+08:00)
Elevation AMSL 8 m / 25 ft
Coordinates 18°10′41″N 120°31′55″E / 18.17806°N 120.53194°E / 18.17806; 120.53194Coordinates: 18°10′41″N 120°31′55″E / 18.17806°N 120.53194°E / 18.17806; 120.53194
LAO/RPLI is located in Philippines
Location in the Philippines
Direction Length Surface
m ft
01/19 2,780 9,120 Concrete
Statistics (2016)
Passengers 204,106
Aircraft movements 3,204
Metric tonnes of cargo 2,552
Statistics from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines.[1]

Laoag International Airport (Ilokano: Sangalubongan a Pagpatayaban ti Laoag, Filipino: Paliparang Pandaigdig ng Laoag) (IATA: LAO, ICAO: RPLI) is the main airport serving the general area of Laoag, the capital city of the province of Ilocos Norte in the Philippines. It is the only airport in Ilocos Norte and is the northernmost international airport in the Philippines by geographical location. The airport is a popular charter destination for tourists from China.

It has one 2,420-meter runway[2] and is designated as a secondary/alternate international 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 airports in the Philippines except the major international airports.[3]


The airport was constructed by Americans before World War II as Gabu Airfield. The Japanese occupied the base on December 1941 and subsequently used it. During the Luzon campaign to retake the islands from the Japanese, Major Simeon Valdez led a raid on the airfield, burning the headquarters and setting fire to a fuel dump. Similar attacks follow in the succeeding days until its recapture on 15 February 1945 when it was abandoned due to Commonwealth military and guerrilla raids. By April 1945 the airfield was again operational hosting fighter and transport aircraft.[4] The airfield became a staging area for flights and air missions against Japanese forces in Northern Luzon by April and Okinawa by June 1945.[5]

After the war, the airfield was converted into a civilian airport.

The airport became one of the stops of the Breitling DC-3 World Tour held in 2017. The aircraft, a Douglas DC-3 with the registration number HB-IRJ landed for refueling in April as part of a round-the-world flight to celebrate the plane's 77th birthday.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

China Eastern AirlinesGuangzhou[6][better source needed]
Philippine Airlines
operated by PAL Express
Royal Air Charter Charter: Macau

Codeshare Flights[edit]

All of these code share flights are operated by Philippine Airlines on behalf of these airlines.


Passenger traffic[edit]

Year Passenger


% Change from

Previous Year

2001 108,273
2002 185,761 Increase 41.71
2003 99,867 Decrease 46.24
2004 134,869 Increase 25.95
2005 119,462 Decrease 11.42
2006 128,856 Increase 7.29
2007 143,027 Increase 9.91
2008 154,319 Increase 7.31
2009 135,473 Decrease 12.21
2010 177,339 Increase 23.61
2011 169,655 Decrease 4.33
2012 188,048 Increase 9.87
2013 243,016 Increase 22.62
2014 166,525 Decrease 19.13
2015 204,550 Increase 3.92
2016 204,156 Decrease 0.19
2017 161,019 Decrease 21.13

See also[edit]


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website

  1. ^ "Passenger Statistics 2014". 23 July 2015. Retrieved 16 August 2015. 
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 April 2009.  Laoag Airport - Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 30 October 2013.  National Airports - Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines
  4. ^ "Pacific Wrecks - Laoag Airfield (Gabu)". Pacific Wrecks. 22 May 2017. Retrieved 3 June 2017. 
  5. ^ "353 Special Operations Group (AFSOC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. United States Air Force. 24 November 2010. Retrieved 29 January 2018. 
  6. ^ China Eastern Airlines destinations

External links[edit]