Revisiting Tacloban Airport
The last time I was in Tacloban was in the summer before Typhoon Yolanda (International: Haiyan) laid waste to the city and many others along its path. Following are photos I took upon our arrival and departure from the city.
The Daniel Romualdez Airport as seen from our taxiing aircraft. The airport was almost completely destroyed by Yolanda in 2013 and was the scene of so much grief and desperation afterwards as people made their exodus of the devastated city and surrounding areas.
Arriving passengers deplane and walk on the tarmac towards the baggage claim area
A photo of our plane and disembarking passengers – Tacloban airport was being served by turboprops as jet services were suspended because of the repairs being undertaken for th runway.
Luggage carousel at the arrival area
Passengers await their luggage
People outside included those picking up passengers and those offering transport services not just for Tacloban and Leyte but also for destinations in nearby Samar island. The two islands, of course, are connected by the San Juanico Bridge, the country’s longest.
Passengers walk towards the well-wishers’ area and the parking lot
Passengers claiming their luggage
Airport control tower
Philippine Airlines check-in counters
Cebu Pacific check-in counters
Concessionaire and passengers at the pre-departure area
There were many new seats at the pre-departure area and the space can handle about 3 planeloads of passengers without being too congested.
Another look at the relatively spacious pre-departure area
The pre-departure are as seen from the other end of the lounge
Tacloban is the regional capital of Eastern Visayas and deserves a modern airport to serve the area. Plans have been made for a new passenger terminal and the project was reportedly to be bid out before Yolanda destroyed the airport. The old terminal had to be rebuilt and the new terminal project seems to be behind schedule in terms of implementation. Hopefully, the reason for delay is that they had to re-design the terminal that was to be located in the area where Pope Francis held a Mass early this year when he visited Tacloban. The re-design is critical given the possibility of future super typhoons ravaging the area and the position of the airport along the path of most typhoons passing through the Philippines.