Typhoon Yolanda Destroys Tacloban Airport

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines has managed to reopen 8 airports but 4 remain closed including Tacloban Airport that was devastated by super typhoon Yolanda. Officials from CAAP report that the airport was completely ruined and will require extensive repairs for several days before it can be used once again by commercial flights. 

tacloban airport aerial view
"An Aerial View of the Tacloban Airport"
Copyright Photo: Gerry Ruiz
Busuanga airport in Northern Palawan will also remain closed until further notice as a result of severe damage from the super typhoon. Both Busuanga and Tacloban airports received the worst damage. According to John Andrews, Deputy Director General of CAAP, the terminal, communications equipment, and the tower of the Tacloban airport were all destroyed based on an assessment by the airport manager. 

tacloban airport 2009
"The Tacloban Airport Before Typhoon Yolanda"
Copyright Photo: Ipe Eguia
The area manager for CAAP, Efren Nagrama, reported that although there were no casualties at the airport, communication options were limited due to a lack of power. He added that a team of twenty-five CAAP personnel, aviation security officials, and airport personnel had been working to clear the runway since 5:00am on November 9. 

typhoon yolanda tacloban
"The Tacloban Airport After Typhoon Yolanda"
Copyright Photo: Rupert Ambil/Rappler
There were reports by ground personnel that approximately 100 dead bodies were located near Tacloban airport while another 100 were found injured and in desperate need of medical assistance. Andrews will be flying to Tacloban on Sunday to lead a team bringing food, supplies, medicine, and a set of communication equipment. Telecommunications company Bayantel volunteered to install satellite communication equipment at the airport to assist with relief operations. 

tacloban typhoon yolanda
"Philippine Air Force C-130 Hercules Brings in Relief and Supplies"
Copyright Photo: Francis Malasig/EPA
Meanwhile, Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Abaya announced that relief operations for Tacloban will be carried out through the use of military C-130 Hercules aircraft. "The government is currently conducting relief operations by air through C130," said Abaya. 

tacloban airport typhoon yolanda
"Typhoon Victims Queue for Distribution of Relief Goods"
Copyright Photo: Julianne Love de Jesus/Inquirer.net
Airports in Caticlan, Romblon, Dumaguete, Iloilo, Masbate, Legaspi, Surigao, and Bacolod have all resumed normal operations. But Roxas City Airport is not expected to re-open until Sunday, November 10, while Kalibo International Airport is expected to resume normal operations on Monday, November 11. 

typhoon yolanda tacloban airport
"Devastation Caused by Typhoon Yolanda"
Copyright Photo: Rupert Ampil/Rappler
The Department of Transportation and Communications revealed last month that it had requested a budget allocation of P2.8 billion for the full development of the Tacloban Airport with a targeted completion date of December 2016. Airside works had just begun in April 2013 including the concreting of a new apron, taxiway, drainage system, and shoreline protection which was to be completed in February 2014. Development of landside works was to begin in July 2014 with a scheduled completion of December 2016.

tacloban airport
"Previously Proposed Tacloban Airport Development in 2008"
Image Source: Gerry Ruiz Photo Blog
The development of Tacloban Airport has been delayed for more than a decade since it was first included in a funding package offered by the Japan International Cooperation Agency along with the Bacolod-Silay Airport. While the new Bacolod-Silay Airport was completed in January 2008, the Tacloban Airport project was shelved in September 2008 due to lack of funds. The project was recently revived by the Aquino administration. Tacloban Airport is served by Cebu Pacific, PAL Express, AirAsia Zest, and TigerAir. 

1 comment:

  1. It looks like it will lose its roof in 5 minutes. There was never a super typhoon before 2008 and so the whole thing should be revised in light of what Yolanda showed us about the force of the winds. Picture looks nice though.


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