We consider fast and accurate solutions of electromagnetics problems involving three-dimensional photonic crystals (PhCs). Problems are formulated with the combined tangential formulation (CTF) and the electric and magnetic current combined-field integral equation (JMCFIE) discretized with the Rao-Wilton-Glisson functions. Matrix equations are solved iteratively by the multilevel fast multipole algorithm. Since PhC problems are difficult to solve iteratively, robust preconditioning techniques are required to accelerate iterative solutions. We show that novel approximate Schur preconditioners enable efficient solutions of PhC problems by reducing the number of iterations significantly for both CTF and JMCFIE. ©2009 IEEE.