Reviving Ninoy Aquino's mothballed project

30 Jun 2008 by business traveller

It seems there is still hope for the all but abandoned Terminal 3 of Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Officials of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) will attempt a partial opening of the controversial facility this month with trial operations by local carriers. They said they were in discussion with Cebu Pacific Air and Philippine Airlines to move forward on the matter.

The terminal was over 90 percent completed in 2002 when the Philippine Supreme Court voided a multi-billion dollar contract between the government and an international consortium over graft issues. In 2007, efforts to open it were aborted after engineers discovered structural problems, including a ceiling that collapsed and weakened beams. Repairs are still being conducted, which led MIAA development and corporate affairs chief Tirso Serrano to report that portions of the building are now safe for operation. “It’s not all that bad,” he said.

He continued: “We will identify a section that can be safely operated. It will be a phased transfer. We can say that for sure Terminal 3 will operate international flights eventually.”

But how long that would take, Serrano could only say: “It could be one year; it could be three years.”

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