Tacloban airport resumes operations after 17-hour closure (Philippines Daily Inquirer)

Operations at the Daniel Z. Romualdez (DZR) Airport here went back to normal Thursday morning, 17 hours after it was shut down to have its damaged runway repaired.

Antonio Alfonso, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) area manager, said operations resumed at 5 a.m. after the repair on the runway was completed.

He said there was no need for a probe since it was normal for a portion of the asphalt runway be displaced.

Nevertheless, Alfonso explained that airport operations had to be suspended because the affected area was right in the middle of the runway.

A Cebu Pacific flight from Manila was taxiing past 2 p.m. on Wednesday when it hit a soft portion of the runway.

The same Cebu Pacific plane was supposed to leave for Manila at 8 a.m. on Thursday but was stopped after its ground crew noticed a fuel leak.

CAAP personnel said the plane – Cebu Pacific flight 5J6608 – was already taxiing for takeoff when ground crew noticed fuel leaking. The incident forced the pilot to stop and park the plane on the airport ramp.

All 120 passengers, who included Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla, were asked to get off.

A female passenger, who asked not to be named, said airline personnel told them that a mechanic from Manila would arrive at 1 p.m.

DZR Airport serves the Tacloban-Manila and Tacloban-Cebu routes with 14 flights daily.