TACLOBAN CITY: The operations at the Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport are back to normal after a 15-hour shutdown which was implemented to give way to repairs on the runway.
“The first aircraft bound for Cebu left the airport 7:35 a.m. today,” Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Tacloban Area Manager Antonio Alfonso told reporters on Thursday.
CAAP closed 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 airport due to the shutdown.
However, the same Cebu Pacific aircraft that was supposed to leave for Manila on Thursday returned a few minutes after it attempted to leave past 8 a.m. due to a fuel leak.
“It’s about to take off when crewmembers noticed the fuel leak,” said Alfonso.
CAAP said the airline company did not have details about the fuel leak and if the problem was related to Wednesday’s incident.
The plane had 120 passengers. Among them was former Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla, CAAP security personnel confirmed.
Airline officials refused media queries, but said they already informed CAAP that a team of mechanics will be coming to Tacloban by 1 p.m. on Thursday to fix the problem.