Tacloban Closes Airport for Baby Airbus

5 September 2014

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAAP) was forced to close Tacloban airport due to safety concerns particularly the disingrating asphalt overlays in the airports runway which causes hazard to landing and departing aircraft. 

The closure started Wednesday until Thursday where debris and overlays where removed from the runway and is going to be replace by thicker asphalt overlays. 

CAAP said the speedy wear and deterioration to runway was caused by heavy use of US Air Force C-17 aircraft landing multiple times at the airport after typhoon "Haiyan" (Yolanda) to deliver relief aids. 

Tacloban Airport runway pavement rating (PCN) is not sufficient to handle the weight of the massive 265T cargo plane which is only cleared for airbus A320 operations with weight of 78 tons.  A320 aircraft is heavier than C-130 plane.

The runway repavement will run for four months until December and repair work is expected to be completed by 3 December. 

Aviation regulator is closing the runway to heavier aircraft because the existing stripped runway cannot accommodate the weight of A320 aircraft and forced use might lead to further deterioration of the runway cement base. 

Zamboanga International Airport (ZIA) also suffered the same damage to the airports runway after USAF C-17's regularly deliver cargoes at the airport in support of the military contingent of the US forces operating in Zamboanga. Repair and runway upgrading works at ZIA was mostly funded by the US government.

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