Ninoy Aquino International Airport's T3 to be improved

14 Feb 2013

As the Philippine government begins to spruce up the much maligned Terminal 1 of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (see previous news), it has announced that upgrading of Terminal 3 of the airport, also known as NAIA, will proceed.

Some US$45 million has been allocated to set up state-of-the-art airport systems, including baggage handling and reconciliation, flight information display, building management, local area network, fire alarm and protection, and passenger loading bridges. Japanese contractor Takenaka Corporation is in charge of the rehabilitation of the 182,500 sqm complex.

Budget secretary Florencio Abad said that upon completion of the work, some operations at T1 would be shifted to T3 to help the congestion at the 32-year-old T1. “This will ensure efficiency in both terminals,” he added.

T3 began operating in 2008 and is now over capacity, having served 13.8 million passengers last year – 800,000 more than it was built for. Once improved, it will be able to handle more international flights, easing the load on T1. New features will include 34 air bridges and 20 contact gates, allowing 28 airplanes to be served simultaneously.

T2 or Centennial Airport is virtually a Philippine Airlines’ (PAL) base, handling the airline’s international and domestic operations. PAL officials have earlier said they are mulling setting up their own airport in the future (see news).

Against a larger backdrop, the NAIA project is part of the Philippine government’s efforts to enhance its public works arsenal to boost foreign investment and its fast-improving tourism profile, budget boss Abad said.

In 2012, the Philippines enjoyed 4.2 million arrivals, up from 3.9 million arrivals in 2011. This year, 5.5 million visitors are expected.

For a more in-depth look at the rising economic force of The Philippines, read Road Map To Success in the Business Traveller Asia-Pacific January/February issue.

Margie T Logarta 

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