TACLOBAN CITY- Full operations at the Tacloban’s Daniel Z. Romualdez (DZR) Airport have resumed today, May 7 after repair of its runway was finished.
This was disclosed by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) through its area manager based in the city, Antonio Alfonso.
This means, big jets could now land and take off at the runway of the region’s biggest airport which sustained major damages after it was hit by storm surge when supertyphoon “Yolanda” pummeled Tacloban more than a year ago.
The full operations of the DZR Airport resumed at 5 a.m., the first scheduled flight to Tacloban from Manila.
Alfonso boasted that the full use of the airport’s 2,130 runway was due to the completed repair of its 600 meters that were damaged earlier.
“We were ahead of our schedule,” Alfonso said, referring to an earlier deadline of May 10 for the resumption of full operations at the airport.
During the repair, only turbo propeller planes were allowed to use the runway as these could be accommodated using only 1,400 meters of the runway.
The repairs of the 600 meters were done in phases. The first was finished last February while the re-pavement works remaining of the remaining 300 meters started on April 14 and ended on Wednesday.
Before its restrictions to big jets, the DZR Airport handled 14 daily flights to Cebu and Manila. Big jets could accommodate 170 passengers.
When the restrictions to big jets were imposed only allowing the 72-setter turbo-propeller planes, daily flights were reduced to just seven with Cebu and Manila as main destinations.
The limited operations at the DZR irked not only ordinary travellers as the air fare more than double from previous fare of about P4,000, depending on the season, but the business sector saying that it resulted to economic losses on their part.
Jack Uy, president of the Tacloban Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, welcomed the resumption on the operations at the DZR Airport.
He, however, said that lifting of the restriction was for good.
Uy said that due to the limited operations at the DZR Airport, “millions of pesos were lost” by them.
Antonio said that the government also loses close to P220,000 daily from terminal fees and airline charges or roughly P5 million during the 23 days that only small planes were using the airport.