Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport

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Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport
Luparan Daniel Z. Romualdez (Waray)
Paliparang Daniel Z. Romualdez (Tagalog)
Tacloban Airport.jpg
Exterior of Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport (June 2007)
Airport type Public
Operator Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines
Serves Tacloban
Location DZR Airport Complex, San Jose, Tacloban
Elevation AMSL 3 m / 10 ft
Coordinates 11°13′39″N 125°01′40″E / 11.22750°N 125.02778°E / 11.22750; 125.02778
TAC/RPVA is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Direction Length Surface
m ft
18/36 2,138 7,014 Asphalt
Statistics (2012)
Passengers 1,140,000
Aircraft movements 10,030
Metric tonnes of cargo 6,544

Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport (Waray: Luparan Daniel Z. Romualdez, Tagalog: Paliparang Daniel Z. Romualdez) (IATA: TACICAO: RPVA), also known as DZR Airport or Tacloban National Airport, is an airport serving the general area of Tacloban, a highly urbanized city on Leyte island in the Philippines. It is the main gateway from Manila and Cebu to the Eastern Visayas Region in central east Philippines. It is classified as a Class 1 principal (major domestic) airport by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, the agency responsible for the operations of all the airports in the Philippines excluding the major international airports. As of 2013, Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport is ranked as the 8th busiest airport by passenger volume out of the 45 commercial airports in the Philippines.

The airport is named after Daniel Z. Romualdez, a former speaker of the Philippine House of Representatives. It is one of two airports in the Philippines named after a member of the Romualdez family, the other being Imelda R. Marcos Airport in Mati after Imelda Romualdez-Marcos, the wife of the late president Ferdinand Marcos.

On January 17, 2015, the airport apron was the site of a large open air mass held by Pope Francis that attracted nearly half a million pilgrims coming from all over the country to remember the effects of Typhoon Haiyan.


Aerial view of Tacloban Airfield
US P-38 in flames after a Japanese air raid on Tacloban

During World War II[edit]

First known as San Jose Airstrip, named after the village it is located, it was constructed as an airstrip for the U.S. air forces during World War II. USAAF units based here included:


It became known popularly as Tacloban National Airport when commercial aviation began at the airport. The airport was given its current name in honor of Daniel Z. Romualdez, the representative from Leyte who became speaker of the House of Representatives. He was the uncle of Imelda Romualdez Marcos, the wife of president Ferdinand E. Marcos.

Devastation by Haiyan[edit]

Devastation after Typhoon Haiyan

On November 7–8, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan roared through Tacloban and the Eastern Visayas Region. The Tacloban Airport was effectively destroyed by winds averaging to 195 mph (314 km/h) and a 13 ft (4 m) storm surge. The airport terminal and the control tower were utterly demolished, and the airport was rendered unusable.

However, on 11 November, the airport reopened, but for turboprop aircraft only.[1] The airport has now since been reopened again to A320s regularly serving the airport.[2]

Airlines and Destinations[edit]

Airlines Destinations
AirAsia Philippines Manila
AirAsia Zest Manila
Cebgo Cebu (begins October 6, 2015), Manila (ends September 21, 2015)
Cebu Pacific Cebu (ends October 6, 2015), Manila
Philippine Airlines
operated by PAL Express
Cebu, Manila

Operations of Cebu Pacific's Tacloban to Iloilo route has been ceased after Super Typhoon Haiyan.


Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport includes a single-story terminal building, a communications tower and an administrative building. In 2013, the proposed construction of new terminal created a buzz with the withdrawal of the budget and realigned into the Disbursement Acceleration Program of the government.[3]


The single-story terminal building consists of the departure and arrival area. The departure area has one boarding gate, scanners, and a souvenir counter. The arrival area consists of a single baggage carousel, and a porters' assistance desk.

Communications Tower[edit]

The communications tower is located on the east end of the terminal building. It serves as the main communications facility of the airport.

Administrative Building[edit]

The administrative building houses the offices of airport staff and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines.


Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport Terminal

Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport is one of the top 10 busiest airports in the Philippines by passenger traffic with an annual average increase of 2.6 percent in the last 10 years. As of 2013, it holds the 8th spot among commercial airports in the country.

Year Passenger
2001 299,292
2002 303,490
2003 283,573
2004 289,669
2005 328,358
2006 399,885
2007 511,322
2008 627,108
2009 892,425
2010 907,347
2011 1,015,797
2012 1,140,000
2013 (closed due to devastation)
2014 855,407 (scaled down operation due to massive repair)
2015 260,113 (Q1)

Ground transportation[edit]

Access to the airport from central Tacloban is served by the jeepney services on the Downtown-San Jose-Airport route, from Marasbaras route, and the service from nearby Palo. In 2010, an airport taxi service was opened to shuttle passengers from the airport to the city's Central Bus Terminal, the city's commercial area and other destinations such as the San Juanico Bridge and the MacArthur Landing Memorial in Palo and to Tacloban's suburbs.

Future development[edit]

A new terminal building has been proposed by the city government of Tacloban, to replace the current building. The new terminal, which would cost 300 to 350 million pesos, will be built through a Build-Operate-Transfer scheme. Around 500 million pesos was allocated for the terminal's construction, with the city government collecting a share of current terminal fees to shoulder its expenses in constructing the new terminal.[4]

In Aug 2012, The Department of Transportation and Communications as part of the P319 million modernization of the Tacloban and Dipolog airports allocated P251.6 million for the Tacloban Airport to construct a new apron and taxiway. The allocation also involves the completion of the north-east shore protection with shoulder grade correction, the construction of a drainage system with box culverts, and the construction of temporary transition.[5]

In September 13, 2012, the Budget department has released P4.6 billion to support the public-private partnership (PPP) projects of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC). Of the total, the Tacloban City Airport will receive P800 million to help it accommodate the growing air traffic by developing the terminal building and other ancillary facilities.[6]


  • On 4 August 1984, a Philippine Airlines flight overshot runway 36 and landed in the sea. All 70 passengers and five crew survived.[7]
  • On February 15, 2007, a Philippine Airlines flight from Manila overshot the runway. There were no casualties among 133 passengers and six crew members. DZMM Correspondent Hector Go said the aircraft’s front wheel ended up in the past the airstrip after the plane attempted to touch down in the middle of the runway around 7 a.m.[8]
  • On February 13, 2009, a Cebu Pacific plane engine sucked a bird into its engine damaging the blades.[9]
  • On 8 November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) destroyed the airport's terminal building.[11] The airport has now since been reopened again to A320s regularly serving the airport.[12]
  • On 17 January 2015, a Bombardier twin-engine jet, carrying Cabinet members Ochoa and Coloma, overshot the runway after it failed to take-off shortly after the Pope's plane took off. There were no casualties.[13]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]