Airports resume operations; Tacloban partially open

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Airports that were shut down during the onslaught of Yolanda resume operations. The one in Tacloban, one of the hardest-hit, can now accommodate small aircraft

BADLY DAMAGED. What remains of the Tacloban city airport in Leyte after typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan pummeled the city. Photo by EPA/Francis Malasig

MANILA, Philippines  Ten airports that were shut down during the onslaught of Typhoon Yolanda (international codename Haiyan) already resumed operations, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) announced Monday, November 11.

But the airport in Tacloban, one of the hardest-hit areas, was only partially opened.

In a statement, CAAP director-general William Hotchkiss III said the agency lifted Monday the “Notice to Airmen” it issued 10 airports when Yolanda made landfall in the Philippines early Friday, November 8. The airports are located in Roxas, Caticlan, Legazpi, Iloilo, Romblon, Surigao, Kalibo, Masbate, Dumaguete and Busuanga.

The Busuanga airport opened on Monday, while the other airports started operations as early as Saturday, November 9.

Partially opened

The Tacloban airport can only accommodate limited flights as its communication facilities, tower and radar equipment were destroyed.

Hotchkiss said select commercial flights using turboprop aircraft are now mounted to and from the airport. These flights are mainly for humanitarian missions bringing in relief supplies and equipment.

Hotchkiss stressed that it will take days or even weeks before bigger aircraft like the Airbus 320 or Boeing B737 can use the airport.

“We would like to inform the riding public that in as much as we wanted to bring back normal operations, the airport terminal itself was totally damaged and we are now building a temporary terminal to service the needs of the passengers,” he added.

PAL, Cebu Pacific flights

Legacy carrier Philippine Airlines and its affiliate PAL Express announced that they are operating Tacloban flights via Cebu starting Monday. This is to help passengers whose flights were cancelled due to Yolanda.

Budget airline Cebu Pacific, for its part, announced the cancellation of the following flights:


  • 5J373/374 


  • 5J428/429
  • 5J426/427


  • 5J651/652
  • 5J659/660
  • 5J653/654
  • 5J657/658

 – Cherrie Regalado/

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