How to Get In and Out of Gensan Airport On Tight Budget?

In the mid-1990s, the General Santos City experienced boom in investments, most especially in infrastructure. Foreign-aid multi-million dollar projects such as the road network, a world class container port and fish port were just some of the infrastructures that were given to the southernmost city of the Philippines. General Santos City International Airport has been one of the largest projects that were made in south-central Mindanao. It has the longest runway in entire Mindanao, third longest in the country—with a span of 3.2 kilometers. It can accommodate large aircraft such as Boeing 747 or Airbus A380.

It was opened in 1996, replacing the smaller and older Buayan Airport, located at the east of the city center-which hadonly accommodate turboprops and doesn’t have a direct link to Manila. General Santos City International Airport is located in a high altitude terrain at Barangay Fatima, some 14-15 kilometers away from downtown Dadiangas. There were allegations that the airport was built to reestablish a US military base in the Philippines, since the construction was funded by the US government.

General Santos City International Airport is the primary gateway of General Santos City, South Cotabato, Sarangani and Sultan Kudarat province of the Soccsksargen region. It serves as a transit point for Gensan’s major export-tuna, being exported to Japan and to the rest of the world.

Big bird

Yellow Bird

Given that General Santos City Airport is far from Dadiangas proper, here are some tips on how to get out of there and get in.

How to get out?
Getting out of General Santos Airport is easy as pie. Choose from these:

Arrival Area

  • Of course, taxi is the most convenient option, albeit very expensive. Usually, it reaches P300 in order for you to reach the airport. Yet it is best for people who travel in groups—got to share the pie of expense.
  • Hotel shuttle service. That is if you have a hotel reservation with airport shuttle service.
  • I’ve tried this one, taking airport multicab all the way to the city. For P50, you can reach downtown on door-to-door basis. Unfortunately, as of Friday (03 June 2022), the drivers are having a meeting with CAAP regarding this mode of public transportation. Added to it is the issue that they don’t have a terminal at the city’s downtown area, hence…unlikely (as of the time of writing) that the multicab service has a return route. I hope that their petition would push through, as this would be a very affordable option for those who don’t have the budget for taxi.

Airport Multicab

Taxi Parking Area

Wellwishers and Shuttle vans

Now, how to get in here?
As I’ve mentioned earlier, the multicab service hasn’t gone full yet (as of the time of writing). Getting here with a meager budget was a challenge for me, personally. It was raining hard and has tried my luck by using this:

Pre-departure area

  • Take a Jeepney bound for Uhaw-Fatima area at Papaya Street corner Acharon Boulevard. From downtown to Uhaw, that would be P20. However, the jeepney cannot enter the airport area. Either you take the tricycle or habal-habal which you have to pay P100 (negotiable) just to reach the airport terminal building. In my experience, I have been to the airport through habal-habal and tricycle, and both are available in Uhaw-Fatima area.
  • And of course, taxi service is the most convenient yet expensive mode.
  • And hotel shuttle service is only available for those who have hotel accommodations.

Gensan Tricycle

A view of Mount Matutum from the airport

This article is still open for some suggestions that the Generals (residents of Gensan) or the Soccsksargenhons may suggest better ideas on how to access General Santos City International Airport.


View Gensan Airport in a larger map
 

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4 comments to How to Get In and Out of Gensan Airport On Tight Budget?

  • bari

    WOW!

    This post is a big help to visitors flying in thru the GenSan International airport!

    If you haven’t mentioned it, I wouldn’t have known that aside from the expensive taxis, there’s the much cheaper multicab which could take you downtown from our airport.

    Thanks for this Bernie.

    Now am excited for the rest of your blog posts on your South Central Mindanao adventures.

  • cagayandeoro

    This is a very useful blog, I would say. Thanks for sharing those tips. I am planning to visit GenSan but I should say it would be my first time.I would note all of these things.

  • Your welcome @Cagayandeoro. :)

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