Domestic air travel reaches 52M in 2011

By Alexander Villafania

QUEZON CITY, METRO MANILA—Domestic air travel in the Philippines has been growing steadily growing to 52.1 million as of 2011, according to the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB).

In its report “Big Buzziest Airports” the NSCB said that since 2001 the annual average number of domestic air travelers grew 10.1 percent, up from 19.9 million.

Of this figure, over half (57.18 percent or 29.7 million) of total passengers were from the National Capital Region (NCR).

The NCR also has among the busiest airports with an average share of 19.4 million passengers or 62.2 percent of all passenger traffic in the Philippines from 2001 to 2011. Other airports that also report high traffic are Regions VI, VII, and XI. These accounted for 9.1 percent, 11.5 percent, and 5.1 percent, respectively.

In terms of numbers, these translated to 27.3 million flyers from NCR, followed by Region VII with 6.3 million. Region VI has 4.6 million travelers while region XI has 2.6 million.

Among the least busiest airports in the country are the Cordillera Administrative Region, Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, Regions II, XII, I, and III. These all accounted for less than one percent of total air travel.

The NSCB report also stated that the Philippines currently has 203 airports, down from 300 in 1994.

The decrease was largely due to closing of numerous private airfields, particularly during the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s. Currently, the Philippines has 10 international airports and 75 commercial, private, or community airports.

There are also 501,117 aircraft of various types in the Philippines. The number of accidents has also been minimal since 2001. There was only 14 recorded aircraft-related accidents as of 2010.

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