YLWbased
Topic Author
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Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 6:09 pm

Caticlan (Banana Airport) On 5J! - Pics! (PT.1)

Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:35 pm

Just to get started, let me provide a little information about the place - Caticlan.

Caticlan is a district within the municipality of Malay of the Province of Aklan in the Philippines. This airport serves as the front gate for the internationally famous beach destination - Boracay. (IATA: MPH, ICAO: RPVE). This airport is roughly 800KM south of Manila (MNL). The most interesting part about this airport is the short rwy, measured at 810M/2657FT. Rwy Lights and landing instruments have not been installed, hence it is restricted to day light operation only.

Due to the short rwy, aircraft operates out of there with a very big payload restrictions. My ATR71-500 flight out of here was considered a "Full Flight" with only 28 pax onboard.

13th of Jan, 2011, 7:30am. It was 6oC. I was barely awake and move my dead tired body to the check-in counter of Cebu Pacific in HKG. They hire SATSHK as their ground agency, and that was a bad decision as SATSHK is known for it's lousy service.


I bump into a few friends at the airport while having dim sum as breakfast. They are heading to Bangkok (BKK) on Orient Thai, and their plane happened to be right next my my gate.


Today's gate is 45. Aircraft on duty is RP-C398, Airbus 319-100, flight number 5J 109


Now boarding, "Have a FUN flight!"


Safty Instruction Card and the Inflight Magazine: Smile. Leg room was awesome as I tooked the emergency exit roll to myself! The flight was only 60% full, I guess it is too early of a flight for anyone. I snapped a few shots before I passed out on my seat sleeping...


The moment I woke up was the moment the plane touched down, hence no aerial photo of Manila available. My first thought after we've landed was "THIS IS HOT!!!!!“ I guess this should be a normal reaction when flying in from a place that was a bit cold an hour and half ago.
Cebu Pacific's international and domestic system are not integrated, hence all passengers must collect their baggage and proceed to the domestic check-in level to re-check-in and collect the domestic boarding pass in MNL.


Since I have 4 hours to spend in MNL for my transit, a French dude I met on the plane that was heading to MPH too and I decided to head out of the airport for lunch. If you're familiar with the city, you would know how bad the traffic is in Manila. We opted to go to Mall of Asia which is not too far away from the airport just to be safe.

the Pic above is a Filipino dish call "Sisig". It is one of my favorite filipino dish.


We took the cab back to the airport after lunch, everyone have to go through security check before entering the terminal.


On the MNL-MPH sector, I've got RP-C7253, an ART72-500 operating as 5J 134.


This is my first time on ART72, the space wasn't as bad as I thought, pretty similar to what I get with AC's CRJ100/200. It too have the low windows problem, but it is not as serious as CRJ classics. Noise level wasn't as bad as Dash-8.
One very interesting find was that not every seat is equipped with oxygen mask, and even if the seats are equipped, passengers will have to insert a sharp object into the panel to release the mask. If you fail to listen to the safty demo, you might not know what to do in an emergency!


I know, I was waaaaaaaaay to tired. I fall asleep as soon as the aircraft was in the air. I didn't got up til we're on final into Caticlan.
I saw the terminal building as soon as we landed, the entire airport is consist of 4 parking spot and the small terminal building, it kinda feels like those "Banana Airports" from the game "holiday resort tycoon" or "Tropical". The size of the Arrival Hall is about the size of a normal 7-11 outlet in Hong Kong, which is about 1/4 standard size 7-11 in Canada.
As soon as we landed, I witness 2 strong man pull a luggage cart towards the aircraft to unload the baggage then pull the cart with mountain of luggages back to the arrival hall, then put the luggage piece by piece on the a desk that is about the size of a regular door laid flat. Passenger rush to the desk to collect the baggage as the ground staff yell out the pax ticket number. There were 3 aircraft that landed into Caticlan in the sametime that day, there were over 200 pax standing around in the compact area for their luggage.


I just came back from Chinese New Year celebration and am tired as hell. I'll post my return trip in a few days!
Happy Chinese New Year!

YLWbased

[Edited 2011-02-02 12:38:49]
Hong Kong is not China. Not better or worse, just different.
 
jetblue777
Posts: 1204
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 4:13 pm

RE: Caticlan (Banana Airport) On 5J! - Pics! (PT.1)

Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:45 pm

Hey great trip report,

Quoting YLWbased (Thread starter):
Since I have 4 hours to spend in MNL for my transit, a French dude I met on the plane that was heading to MPH too and I decided to head out of the airport for lunch. If you're familiar with the city, you would know how bad the traffic is in Manila. We opted to go to Mall of Asia which is not too far away from the airport just to be safe.

Mall of Asia is a great place, lots of food and shops, the best mall I've ever been actually. That place is just huge!

Quoting YLWbased (Thread starter):
the Pic above is a Filipino dish call "Sisig". It is one of my favorite filipino dish.

Hmmm, I had Sisig when I went to Boracay!

And nice aerial view of PR's Terminal 2, you could see their 2 77Ws! Looking pretty neat and the 744 next to it!
It's a cultural thing.
 
YLWbased
Topic Author
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RE: Caticlan (Banana Airport) On 5J! - Pics! (PT.1)

Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:24 am

Quoting jetblue777 (Reply 1):

Thanks for your comment, I really enjoyed Boracay, looking forward to re-visit again next year!

YLWbased
Hong Kong is not China. Not better or worse, just different.
 
737-990
Posts: 338
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2000 3:41 pm

RE: Caticlan (Banana Airport) On 5J! - Pics! (PT.1)

Sat Feb 05, 2011 1:41 am

Great report. I was on the same airplane, RP-C7253, four days after you when I traveled from MNL to USU (Busuanga). Like you this was my first time on an ATR and I also found it much more comfortable and quite than the Dash-8-Q400 which I have traveled often on QX.
Happiest is a man who has his vocation as a hobby
 
N751PR
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RE: Caticlan (Banana Airport) On 5J! - Pics! (PT.1)

Sat Feb 05, 2011 6:49 am

Thanks for sharing!

Admittedly I haven't been to Boracay in over 10 years while never really having the privilege of flying into MPH (we instead drove from my parents' home on the other side of Panay island) so it's always a treat to catch a TR on this segment!

Good to see some love for sisig!   
"Ladies and Gentlemen it's happy hour. You will get two approaches for the price of one."
 
YLWbased
Topic Author
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Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 6:09 pm

RE: Caticlan (Banana Airport) On 5J! - Pics! (PT.1)

Sun Feb 06, 2011 2:12 pm

Quoting 737-990 (Reply 3):

What a co-incident!

Quoting N751PR (Reply 4):
Good to see some love for sisig!

I can't get enough sisig when I was there, i grew up with the philippino community in Hong Kong as I attended a church that consist of over 50% philippinos, and I enjoy every bit of their culture!

YLWbased
Hong Kong is not China. Not better or worse, just different.
 
MKEdude
Posts: 960
Joined: Thu May 05, 2005 9:55 am

RE: Caticlan (Banana Airport) On 5J! - Pics! (PT.1)

Sun Feb 06, 2011 9:23 pm

Flew into MPH on Seair last year, interesting airport.

Quoting YLWbased (Thread starter):
One very interesting find was that not every seat is equipped with oxygen mask, and even if the seats are equipped, passengers will have to insert a sharp object into the panel to release the mask. If you fail to listen to the safty demo, you might not know what to do in an emergency!

This is insane!! So in the event of a rapid decompression and all the chaos that would ensue I am supposed to have the presence of mind to locate my keys or a pen, jam it into the ceiling only to find out that, whoops, turns out you don't have a mask after all...sucks to be you!

I think we found a piece of the puzzle as to why the Philippines is still rated category 2 by the FAA!
"You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline." Frank Zappa
 
YLWbased
Topic Author
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Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 6:09 pm

RE: Caticlan (Banana Airport) On 5J! - Pics! (PT.1)

Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:08 pm

Quoting MKEdude (Reply 6):
Flew into MPH on Seair last year, interesting airport

Is there a TR on that? I'd love to try SEair, too bad it was too expensive compare to Cebu!

YLWbased
Hong Kong is not China. Not better or worse, just different.

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