Monday, August 06, 2007

The Old Davao Airport

It's been awhile since I've gotten on a bicycle (and hence the absence of biking posts.) Yesterday seemed the right time to start making up for it. The skies were overcast and held a hint of drizzle, just the perfect weather for a long ride.

I originally intended to go only as far as DAMOSA, Davao's new outsourcing center, but once there, the distance seemed too short. So I proceeded to the old Davao Airport in Sasa, another six kilometers away.

For years, the Old Davao Airport had served as the main terminal for the city and other nearby parts. That was until December 2003 when operations moved to the new airport in Buhangin.

I have so many memories of the place, many of them in praying for the last remaining seat in the waitlist. But I can't really fault the airport for that; instead the blame should go to the very bureaucratic and very inefficient Philippine Airlines of those days. But I digress.

Honestly, I was expecting the place to be deserted, but it wasn't. Certainly it wasn't as busy as before, and in the air I felt a touch of sadness for its bygone glory, but now, the premises have been converted into an activity center of sorts.

Yesterday, a scooter club -- yes, they were scooters, despite any insistence to call them motorcycles -- turned the old parking lot into a racetrack. Weekend riders revved up their scooters and, well, scooted around, mufflers sputtering loudly in the air. It all looked a little silly, actually.

Things are a far cry from the old days, but there's still life in the airport area, it seems. I saw young soldiers, probably heading off for their assignments, leading me to think that it's now been converted into a military terminal. On the whole, roadside sari-sari stores dominate the scene

Ah, sic transit gloria mundi!

Seems to me, though, the place deserves a bit more respect than its getting now. The old Davao Airport was witness to two major tragedies in recent memory: the bombing on March 4, 2003, and an Air Philippines crash on April 19, 2000. There ought to be a memorial there. Instead, they've just let the flowers grow over. (See also the Mindanews feature on the airport.)

On the return trip, I took R. Castillo, leading back to Agdao. All in all, a 20-km. ride. Not bad for these old bones.


  1. any idea what the city plans to do with the old airport?

    is there another mega real estate deal in the making?

  2. February 11, 2008

    Dear Urbano de la Cruz,

    My suggestion for the old Davao Airport is an aeronautics specialty state college named the DAEDALVS, The Davao Aeronautical Technological School. I am an aerospace engineering MS student at the Calif State U, Long Beach on expired leave (from 1999-2000). I have already made 16 futuristic specialty BS curriculums for the DAEDALVS. I used to teach in college here in Davao City in the early 19902 at better schools. I hope to be back teaching soon.

    Sincerely yours,

    Darvin Delgra

  3. February 26, 2008

    Dear Urbano dela Cruz,

    My suggestion for the old Davao Airport is an aeronautics specialty state college named the DAEDALVS, The Davao Aeronautical Technological School.
    There is such a school in the U.S. at Daytona Beach, Florida the world famous Embry-Riddle Aeronautical
    University, the first school that offered me MSAE admission (Dec. 1992). I am a graduate student (on
    expired leave) at the California State University, Long Beach (MSAeroE). I have already made 16 futuristic specialty aeronautics-related BS Degree Curriculums for the DAEDALVS. I used to teach in college here in Davao City at better schools in early 1990s. I hope to be back teaching soon.

    D. A. D.
    P.O. Box 81130
    Davao City

  4. Dear Readers,

    DAEDALVS is from the Greeek Mythology of "Daedalus and Icarus."
    "Daedalus" thus means success. If you are a young aviation enthusiast contemplating a career in aviation or aeronautics JOIN ME IN MY CAUSE. WE SHOULD UNITE AVIATION ENTHUSIASTS OF THE PHILIPPINES!

    The curriculums I've made are 16 BS Programs: Aeronautical Engineering; BS Aircraft Engineering Technology, BS Avionics Engineering Technology (practical engineer programs); BS Mechanical Engineering (aerospace emphasis); BS Electrical Engineering (major in aerospace avionics and aircraft electricity, BS Engineering Physics (space physics), BS Aviation Computer Science, BS Human Factors Pscyhology (aerospace applications), BS Ocean Engineering, BS Safety Science, BS Aviation Business Adminstration, BS Aeronautical Studies (professional pilot program), BS Materials Engineering; BS Aviation Maintenance Management, BS Air Traffic Management, and BS Aeronautical Systems Maintenance.
    These are patterned after Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's unique programs.

    Two Associate in Science Programs:
    AS in Avionics Technology and AS in Aircraft Maintenance.

    Also included are Aeronautical Engineering Diploma Programs for engineering majors (2 years) and non-engineering majors (3 years). Meaning those who have finished degrees other than AE can enroll in
    AE 4th year and 5th year subjects with additional bridging subjects for non-engineering college graduates (1 year articulation subjects).

    Lastly, a RESTRICTED Certificate Program (same as 2-year Diploma) is offered to those very highly qualified applicants who have finished at least 3rd year in ANY Engineering Course.

    Please contact me at my e-mail
    address below and I send you photocopies of the program(s) you want plus some information.

    Darvin Delgra

  5. March 3, 2008

    Dear Readers:
    Yes, I am the one who is the "ANONYMOUS" person above. I have trouble with entering information
    and so I was forced to choose this

    The other plans for the old Davao
    Airport the national government should do for the airport is a new national government agency in aeronautics named the PAGA&SA or the Philippine Aviation General Aeronautics and Space Administration. We should consolidate our national efforts in aeronautical development in one place. This new agency will be like the NACA, the forerunner of the NASA as we will just concentrate in aeronautics. (Our local ATO is like the FAA of the U.S.) NACA means National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics and it was established in the 1930s
    or earlier. NASA was established in 1958 at the beginning of the space race. I have more discussions on this in my next comment.

    Darvin Delgra