But long before the Mactan-Cebu International airport started operating, there was the Lahug Airport. The Lahug Airport started off as the Cebu Landing Field. It was designated as a Military Airport and Landing Field prior to the Second World War. The designation was issued by President Manuel L. Quezon under Executive Order No. 154 on June 25, 1938.
After the war, President Manuel A. Roxas designated the Lahug Landing Field as a national airport on August 12, 1947. The designation was part of the efforts of the government to speed up the development of civil aviation in the country. This eventually led to the setting up of the Civil Aeronautics Administration on November 10. 1950.
The airport was also the home base of the 6th Observation and Attack Squadron under 1st Lt Oscar Sales of the Philippine Army Air Corps. The air squadron was composed of thirteen (13) O-1 observation planes, one (1) Stinson Reliant and one (1) Stearman 17 trainer plane.
The Lahug Airport in Cebu was located in what is now the Cebu IT Park. In fact, the runway of the airport is the present Jose Maria del Mar Street or the main thoroughfare of the place that runs up to the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino. The airport was also the venue of the papal mass on February 19, 1981. The late Pope and now Saint John Paul II offered the mass in front of thousands of residents and visitors to the Queen City of the South. It was the only open-air mass offered by the late pope.