Photo by City Government of Davao
Most international visitors to the Philippines arrive from flights that land in Manila at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) or Manila Airport located in Luzon. Apart from Manila, entry points located in other parts of the Philippine archipelago are available to travelers as well.
In the Visayas, a group of islands located in the middle section of the Philippines, there’s the Mactan-Cebu International Airport in the island province of Cebu, whereas in at the southern region of Mindanao in Davao lies the Francisco Bangoy International Airport, otherwise known as the Davao International Airport, with IATA code DVO.
Having several points of entry across the country means that you don’t always need to pass through Manila to visit some of the best tourist spots in the Philippines.
Because the Davao Airport caters to international flights, you have the option to make it your first stop upon landing in the country, especially if you’re looking to explore famous attractions and beach destinations in and around the Mindanao region. Booking an international flight direct to Davao International Airport makes it faster for you to visit top tourist spots in Mindanao.
Davao International Airport is the busiest in Mindanao and comes in as the third busiest in the Philippines after NAIA and Mactan-Cebu International Airport. Around 2 million passengers a year pass through its gates, along with an estimated 84,600 metric tons of cargo on an annual basis. Its Malay-inspired architecture lends a local flair to its appearance, while the airport’s single 3,000-meter precision runway is at par with international aviation standards.
The airport has three main lounges, two of which are for domestic flights and one for international passengers, along with check-in counters that are equipped with electronic weighing scales, conveyors, and a computerized baggage handling system. It also has a huge dedicated area to accommodate 800 parking slots and four spaces for shuttle buses, features that make it more than capable of administering to and handling international flights in a timely, efficient manner.
Photo by Philippine Airlines
As the third-largest airline hub in the country, Davao's Francisco Bangoy International Airport hosts 13 domestic destinations and 2 international destinations, with 7 commercial airlines and 1 chartered plane passing through its gates.
You can reach Davao from major cities or towns in Luzon or Visayas which include places such as Manila, Clark, Tuguegarao, Cagayan, Dumaguete, Bacolod, Iloilo, Tacloban, Kalibo, Catarman, and Puerto Princesa. This airport serves several domestic, commercial carriers, namely Philippine airlines, Cebu Pacific, Air Asia, and chartered flights via Skyjet.
The Francisco Bangoy International Airport connects to two nearby international destinations: Kuala Lumpur via the AirAsia international carrier and Singapore by way of SilkAir flights and Cebu Pacific airlines.
Photo by Davao International Airport
Davao International Airport currently has a single terminal handling both domestic and international flights. When it was inaugurated in 2003, it replaced the old terminals, making it bigger and better able to handle the busy airport traffic. With 14 domestic check-in counters and 14 international check-in counters, it is four times larger than the old terminals.
Photo by Mabuhay Taxi
Getting to and from the Davao International Airport is quite straightforward and convenient. There are several modes of transportation available, with options ranging from Davao Airport transfers, taxis, jeepneys to hotel shuttles and car booking apps or Grab.
Davao Airport Transfers
Booking an airport transfer service in Davao is the easiest way to get to and from the airport without a hitch. If you’re not familiar with the place, commuting around Davao with heavy luggage in tow can get quite challenging.
To avoid unnecessary stress on your way to the airport, it is highly recommended that you make an advanced booking for a transfer service before arriving or departing Davao. This ensures that there’s a ride waiting for you as soon as your plane lands or when it’s time to leave for the airport.
Pre-booked services usually come with a uniformed chauffeur who knows their way around the city, complete with an air-conditioned vehicle that can also be booked for package tours. Such tours typically include hotel pick-up and drop-off services along with ready-made itineraries for a convenient, hassle-free tour to top Davao tourist spots nearby.
Taxis in Davao Airport
Photo by Mabuhay Taxi
Metered taxis are readily available at the arrival and departure areas at the Davao airport. One advantage that taxis have over other public transport options such as jeepneys or buses is that taxis are the only public utility vehicles to pick up and drop off passengers inside the airport.
Other public transportation options can bring you near the airport but not directly inside the departure or arrival bay. Just hail a local metered taxi as these vehicles cater to both arriving and departing passengers at the airport. Note that cash payment is accepted by taxis; debit or credit card facilities are not yet available to pay for your fare.
Jeepney in Davao Airport
Riding a jeepney is the most cost-effective way to go around the city, and many pass by the airport day and night. It accommodates up to 18 people, which is ideal for passengers going to specific places, but for travelers carrying big luggage, it might not be the best option for you.
Also, jeepneys are not allowed inside the airport. Instead, the driver will drop you off at the road near the entrance gate, and it’s roughly a 5-minute walk to get to the main airport building.
There are 4 routes that pass by the Davao Airport: Landmark, Bunawan-Roxas, Panacan-Illustre, and Tibungco-Roxas. Ask the driver if the jeepney will pass by the airport and confirm the route, just to be sure.
Hotel Shuttles in Davao Airport
Many hotels in Davao offer complimentary airport shuttle services to guests. Talk to the receptionist at the front desk to check if they offer this service for free; otherwise, several hotels would gladly book an airport transfer service on your behalf for an extra fee.
Car Booking Apps in Davao Airport
Another convenient way to go to and from the Davao International Airport is by using ride-sharing services like Grab. Simply download the app on your phone and book a vehicle upon arrival to or departure from the airport. Car booking apps are convenient because these enable cashless transactions, while fares are pre-calculated in the app. Note that toll fares are not included in the fee, so you may need to shell out some cash in case you’re required to pass through a toll booth.
It is best to book a service to the airport in advance to avoid unforeseen events like traffic or off-peak hours where there might not be enough vehicles available for booking in a timely manner.
There are many hotels located near the Davao Airport that cater to various types of budgets, ranging from low-cost accommodations to high-end resorts with premium amenities. Booking a hotel within close range to the airport makes it easier to plan your vacation and to ensure that you don’t miss your scheduled flight.
If you’re coming from a long-haul flight, having a hotel nearby ensures that you get to rest well right away instead of risking the possibility of being cooped up in a car while enduring long hours of traffic during rush hour.
Here are a few Davao hotels near the airport to consider:
OYO 150 Davao Airport View Hotel
Photo by OYO 150 Davao Airport View Hotel
This budget-friendly Davao hotel can be found right at the Davao Airport View Commercial Complex street. OYO 150 Davao Airport View Hotel is less than 1KM away from the airport, with the police regional office station just 700m away from the property, making it a safe and secure location for travelers.
The rooms are tastefully furnished with modern amenities that include air-conditioning, refrigerators, a hairdryer, an electric kettle for making coffee or tea, television sets, and free wifi.
The front desk is available round the clock and can accommodate 24/7 check-ins for guests, while parking facilities can be found within the property. Other facilities include CCTV cameras, daily housekeeping, and first aid capabilities.
The Executive Villa Inn & Suites
Photo by The Executive Villa Inn & Suites
Located inside a peaceful gated community just 2KM from the Davao International airport, The Executive Villa Inn & Suites offers resort-type accommodations in a two-story villa that has an outdoor swimming pool and outdoor grill area. Rooms are furnished with modern amenities such as air-conditioning, complimentary wifi access, flat-screen TV, and towels, with a few offering private balconies with pool views.
This pet-friendly hotel also has a fine art collection on-site that guests may view at their leisure. Other facilities and services offered include room service, an on-site restaurant serving local and international dishes, car rental and tour services, and complimentary bottled water.
Dusit d2 Davao Hotel
Photo by Dusit d2 Davao Hotel
Just 6KM away from the Francisco Bangoy International Airport, Dusit d2 Davao Hotel provides guests with a conducive place to relax and unwind from a long-haul flight. Rooms are elegantly styled and furnished with modern amenities such as air-conditioning, mini-bar, complete bath toiletries including bathrobes, bedroom slippers, and hairdryer, in-room safe, and ironing board.
Other luxurious comforts that are available for guests include a wellness spa, fitness center, courtyard pool, and several in-house restaurants offering authentic Thai cuisine, international dishes, and baked goodies, along with a hotel lounge serving delicious cocktails, beverages, and regular live entertainment with talented artists on-site.
Just like any busy airport that manages international and domestic flights on a daily basis, the Davao Airport has a few requirements to ensure a safe and pleasant experience for all passengers. Make it a point to follow the health protocols and other Davao travel requirements that are outlined for you to make your trip to Mindanao as comfortable as possible.
Before you are allowed entry into Davao City, make sure that you prepare the following items for a hassle-free experience.
Either a negative RT-PCR test result conducted at a DOH accredited lab facility or a negative Saliva based RT-PCR test result administered only by the Philippine Red Cross. Test results must be valid within 72 hours upon arrival or departure.
A valid Safe Davao QR (DQR). This may be printed and laminated or stored in mobile phones and will be admissible for future travel in Davao.
A valid ID
Fill out the form to register at the Bureau of Quarantine e-Health Declaration Card, including children.
Travelers arriving in the Philippines must undergo 14 days of quarantine, 10 days in an accredited facility, and the remaining 4 days at home.
Quarantined travelers must undergo an RT-PCR test on the 7th day.
Land-based OFWs must have an account with the OFW Assistance Information System
Non-OFWs and non-Filipinos must have a confirmed booking at an accredited hotel for at least 10 days and accomplish an Affidavit of Understanding
Photo by Davao City Tourism
For the most part, the 209-hectare Davao International Airport is easy to navigate ever since the old existing terminals were consolidated to give way to the new, larger terminal building that we see today. After its inauguration in 2003, this Mindanao airport’s capacity has doubled that of the previous one.
If it’s your first time visiting, keep these tips in mind for a smoother, hassle-free experience at the Franciso Bangoy International Airport:
The airport is equipped with the latest navigational, security, and baggage handling technology. Its air traffic control tower is one of the most sophisticated in the country. It is also one of the first airports in the Philippines to use an e-Gate, a state-of-the-art boarding system that uses a boarding pass scanner and fingerprint technology to process incoming passengers. This has helped decongest immigration arrival counters because processing time has been cut to just 15 seconds per passenger.
The Davao Airport also has a widespread CCTV system and scanners installed throughout the property. Uniformed security personnel are within sight to assist passengers and are there to uphold safety standards. Having said that, it's still advisable to keep your wits about you while inside the airport - keep an eye on your valuables, always have your carry-on baggage within reach. If you’re charging the batteries of your smartphone at one of the charging stations, don’t leave it unattended.
Remember that most airports do not allow certain items to be brought in your carry-on luggage, such as sharp objects or blades like nail cutters, scissors, and nail cutters, umbrellas, flammable items like butane lighters or matchsticks, bicycle chains, and the like.
Liquids and aerosols like perfumes, lotion, and gels in hand-carried bags must be placed inside 100 ml containers that are then sealed inside transparent 1-liter plastic bags. Any such items larger than 100 ml will have to be placed inside checked-in bags, so if these are in your carry-on bag before boarding, airport personnel will have to retrieve your checked-in luggage to enable you to transfer them; otherwise, you’ll have to leave them behind.
It is better to arrive early and to keep all needed documents handy, including the required face masks and face shields while inside the airport. Keep these tips in mind to avoid any mishaps once you set foot at the airport terminal.
Davao city and the provinces in Mindanao accept payments in Philippine Peso (PHP). Several ATMs and money changers are available inside the airport and within its immediate vicinity, and more can be found at the city center’s business districts and major cities in Davao city and nearby areas. Malls and most convenience stores in Davao are also equipped with ATMs.
ATM machines for local and international banks and money changers are located near the departure and arrival areas at the passenger terminal building on the ground floor. You can have your cash converted to the local Philippine currency or other currencies at the foreign exchange counters there.
While ATMs are widely available throughout the region, note that not all establishments have credit card facilities to accept this form of payment.
Locals in Davao are able to understand and converse in Filipino, English, and Dabawenyo or Cebuano. English is widely spoken, and most people are friendly and helpful, so feel free to ask questions or reach out if you need help navigating your way around Davao.
The Davao International airport has a terminal with about 9,000 square meters of commercial space allotted exclusively for concessionaires and is currently under construction.
It has several local dining choices located near the gate in the waiting area, such as ‘Suka at Sili’ Bar and Grill, a Filipino restaurant that serves rice dishes, grilled meat, and other local favorites.
At the pre-departure gate, you’ll find ‘R and R’s Cuppa Lounge’, a cafe that has the famous Durian flavored coffee in its menu. A canteen-type food establishment called ‘Solomon’s Den’ sells rice viands and other local dishes at an affordable price, while ‘Air Can-Anan’ also sells cafeteria food and stands just beside ‘Suka at Sili’.
Other pre-departure dining places are the ‘Sky Go Cafe’ and ‘A’Den Cafe’, both of which sell sandwiches and some beverages like coffee and juice, as well as a snack bar called ‘Sip and Snack’ that also sells souvenir items.
Outside the terminal building, you will find a few shops selling various snacks and souvenir items, with a duty-free shop located right in front of it. Near the departure area, there are several shops selling more souvenir items and local snacks that are perfect for bringing home to loved ones and friends.
Some of the items sold include batik shirts, sweet pomelos that are also sold by the box, Malagos chocolates, Durian Chips, and other delicacies that are exclusively sold in Davao.
Near the 2nd level is a stall simply called the Souvenir Shop, which sells various easy-to-carry knickknacks such as dream catchers, pastries, and handcrafted items.
There are three airport lounges at the Davao International Airport that offer complimentary amenities to members. The Philippine Airlines Mabuhay Lounge and the Domestic PAGGS Lounge are both located at Domestic Terminal, inside the security area, while the International PAGSS Lounge is at the International Terminal.
These lounges offer free services and amenities such as wifi access, newspapers, snacks, beverages, TV viewing, internet terminals, private rooms, and non-smoking areas, while shower facilities are available for an additional fee.
Free charging stations are installed in various areas in the airport, mostly at the boarding area in the Davao International Airport. When using the mobile charging stations for your smartphone battery, remember not to leave it out of your sight and don’t leave it unattended for your peace of mind.
The public Wifi service provider of Globe Telecom called GoWifi offers free internet connectivity hotspots in key locations around Davao, such as hospitals and government offices, and also covers airports. This service is available to all Wifi enables devices regardless of whether you’re using a local or international network provider.
Local wireless network Smart Wifi also offers free high-speed wifi connectivity at the Davao International Airport.
The Francisco Bangoy International Airport recently installed a prayer room or mosque facilities inside. This accommodates the regular schedule for “salaa” or prayer services of Muslim ladies and gentlemen that pass through the airport on a daily basis. The rooms are appropriately arranged for Muslim visitors.
Plan Your Getaway to Davao
If you’re looking to explore lovely beaches, historical landmarks, natural attractions, other interesting places in the southern part of the Philippines and experience the Kadayawan Festival, book a flight to Davao International Airport and check out some of the must-visit Mindanao tourist spots and Davao tours during your stay.