Who owns the airports?

An airport intended for public use is a property of public dominion under the Civil Code and thus belongs to the state.

An owner of an airport used for private operations must be a Filipino citizen or a corporation or association organised under Filipino law, at least 60 per cent of whose capital is owned by Filipino citizens.


What system is there for the licensing of airports?

Aerodrome or airport operations are regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) through the Manual of Standards for Aerodromes and the Civil Aviation Regulations governing Aerodromes. Aerodrome operators are required to comply with the standards, practices and procedures that are required under the manual, as appropriate to the operations conducted at the aerodrome and the requirements for aircraft using the aerodrome.

The CAAP, however, may exempt an aerodrome operator from compliance with specified provisions of the CAR or the manual, taking into account any relevant considerations relating to the safety of air navigation.


Aerodrome certificate

An aerodrome or airport (ie, a defined area of land (including any buildings, installations and equipment) intended to be used either wholly or in part for the arrival, departure and surface movement of aircraft) may be operated only by a person that holds a valid certificate issued by Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines for that aerodrome if it is used for:

  • any international air transportation operation; or
  • any national air transportation operation that is conducted using aircraft certified for more than 30 passenger seats.


A person may apply to the authority for an aerodrome certificate to operate an aerodrome at the place specified in the application. The authority may grant either:

  • a temporary or interim aerodrome certificate, which is valid for six months; or
  • a final or permanent aerodrome certificate. 


Permit to operate

Operators of airstrips or heliports conducting air transport operations or private operations using aircraft with fewer than 10 passenger seats must secure a permit to operate.

Economic regulation

Is there a system of economic regulation of airports? How does it function?

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines imposes and fixes reasonable charges and fees for the use of government aerodromes or air navigation facilities and fixes the reasonable charges to be imposed in the use of privately owned air navigation facilities and aerodromes. Airport charges may include airport terminal fees and travel taxes.


Are there laws or rules restricting or qualifying access to airports?

No known laws restrict or qualify access to airports. Airport security regulations and procedures, which may restrict or qualify access to airports to a certain extent, are determined and implemented by each airport authority.

In addition, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, in coordination with the appropriate government agency tasked to provide airport security, is empowered to prescribe reasonable regulations, methods and procedures to ensure the safety of passengers and property.

Slot allocation

How are slots allocated at congested airports?

Slots are allocated at airports using the Communication Navigation Surveillance System and the Air Traffic Management System.

The systems are communication, navigation and surveillance systems employing digital technologies, including satellite systems, together with various levels of automation, applied in support of a seamless global air-traffic management system.

Ground handling

Are there any laws or rules specifically relating to ground handling. What are they?

Ground-handling services are also subject to regulation by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP). Ground-handling personnel must obtain licences from the authority’s licensing division by undergoing knowledge and skills examinations.

The Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission has opined that ground-handling services (as defined CAAP Advisory Circular No. 09-007) constitute an operation of a public utility, thus the 40 per cent maximum foreign equity in public utilities apply to companies involved in ground handling.

Air traffic control

Who provides air traffic control services? And how are they regulated?

The Air Traffic Service of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines provides air traffic control services implementing international standards.

Law stated date

Correct on:

Give the date on which the above content is accurate.

20 January 2020