Tacloban Airport resumes operation after 15-hour shutdown (Philippines News Agency)

Operations of the Daniel Z. Romualdez (DZR) Airport in this city is now back to normal after the runway’s landing roll portion was damaged Wednesday afternoon.

Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Tacloban Area Manager Antonio Alfonso said they have completed fixing the damaged portion around 5 a.m.

It took time for the airline to prepare. The first aircraft bound for Cebu left the airport 7:35 a.m. today, Alfonso told reporters in an interview Thursday morning.

CAAP has shutdown the region’s major airport after the main gear of Cebu Pacific flight 5J659 hit the soft portion of the runway around 2 p.m. on Wednesday, leaving a pothole at the center of the 2,100-meter tarmac area.

Nobody was hurt during the incident, but two aircrafts of Air Asia and Cebu Pacific were grounded at the DZR Airport due to 15-hour shutdown.

It also cancelled flights of two Airbus 320 from PAL Express via Manila-Tacloban-Manila; two Airbus 320 Cebu Pacific, Manila-Tacloban-Manila: one ATR from Cebu-Tacloban-Cebu; and one Airbus 320 from Air Asia, Manila-Tacloban-Manila.

It’s normal that there are portions of asphalt overlay that sustains damages, but sadly, yesterday it was at the center. We are following engineering standards and this was inspected by engineers, but asphalt overlay normally deteriorates, Alfonso added.

The damaged portion was covered by post-Yolanda massive rehabilitation activities between September to October 2014, according to Alfonso. The Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) supervised the project.

The airport runway was left potholed after being submerged in seawater during the typhoon and its condition worsened after large aircraft made frequent calls on the city during the post-Yolanda rehabilitation period.

The government implemented a massive runway repair during the last quarter of 2014, but it was temporarily stopped due to influx of passenger for the holiday season in December and Pope Francis visit early this year.

The third phase started mid-April and was completed early of May 2015. (PNA)