Tacloban Airport closed for runway repairs
MANILA, Philippines – The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) shut down operations of the Daniel Z. Romualdez (DZR) Airport in Tacloban City from 2 pm on Wednesday, August 5, to 5 am on Thursday, August 6, because of urgent runway repairs.
The CAAP said in a statement on Wednesday that it issued a notice to airmen (NOTAM) on the temporary closure, which caused flight cancellations and the grounding of two aircraft.
Tacloban area manager Antonio Alfonso said that part of the asphalted landing roll portion of the runway had been damaged and needs immediate repair, forcing the closure of the airport operations.
Alfonso said that repair work commerced immediately with the estimated completion works to be finished early Thursday morning.
Two Airbus aircraft from Air Asia and Cebu Pacific were grounded due to the closure of operations, while 6 more flights had been cancelled for the day, affecting hundreds of passengers.
The cancelled flights are:
- 2 Airbus 320 from PAL Express via Manila-Tacloban-Manila
- 2 Airbus 320 Cebu Pacific Manila-Tacloban-Manila
- 1 Airbus 320 from Air Asia Manila-Tacloban-Manila
- 1 ATR from Cebu-Tacloban-Cebu
Airport authorities and the respective airlines are now accommodating stranded passengers, giving them priority for the next available flight out of Tacloban Airport on Thursday.
The airport was closed from mid-April to May resurface 338 meters of the 2,138-meter runway.
No pedestrians, vehicles at Baguio airport runway
Also on Wednesday, CAAP reminded Baguio residents that pedestrians and vehicles are forbidden to cross the runway of the Loakan Airport in Baguio City, a rule that will be strictly enforced for safety and security reasons.
In his directive, CAAP director-general William Hotchkiss lll reminded all airport personnel to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Civil Aviation Regulations to implement the relevant standards, requirements, and recommended best practices relating to the safety in and around airports, particularly the runway safety area.
The CAAP issued the reminded as it said that residents and motor vehicles passing through the airport premises pose a greater risk to the safety of aircraft during takeoffs and landings.
Currently, there are no commercial flights flying out of Loakan Airport though it still remains open to aircrafts in general aviation and military flights.
The last commercial air service was in 2012 and was discontinued due to various reasons such as safety due to runway incursions, weather conditions, and low passenger traffic.
The CAAP announcement met strong opposition from local residents, led by its barangay presiding officer Jesusa Lucio-Viscaya of Barangay Loakan proper.
The barangay council unanimously passed a resolution on July 18, 2015, opposing the closure of the runway to crossing of vehicles and pedestrians. It said the rule would adversely affect the livelihood of thousands of residents who pass through the area.
The CAAP, however, countered that a well-paved, 4-kilometer road had been provided by the public works department as an alternate road for the residents. The road is not being used as much as the runway as it requires barangay residents to travel longer to get to school, church, and the barangay hall. – Rappler.com