NAIA 3 ready for international flights

By Perseus Echeminada, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jun 03 2014 07:43 AM | Updated as of Jun 03 2014 08:44 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 will be open to five international airlines starting in August as alternative gateway to the country, an airport official announced yesterday.

NAIA general manager Jose Angel Honrado said the opening of Terminal 3 for international flights will help decongest NAIA Terminal 1, which is currently undergoing renovation.

“The opening of Terminal 3 is part of the alternative program being implemented in the civil aviation industry,” Honrado told reporters during the weekly Kapihan sa Diamond Hotel media forum in Manila.

He said international carriers Delta Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Emirates Airlines and KLM would start operations at NAIA-3 by August.

He said the installation of closed circuit television cameras and other projects to improve the airport are expected to be completed next month.

Honrado also said that they have addressed the air-conditioning problem at Terminal 1 where the renovation has been ongoing since January.

He admitted that the main terminal’s running capacity was already saturated and there is need to open new alternative gateways to Metro Manila.

Among the areas being considered is the Clark International Airport in

Angeles City, Sangley Point in Cavite and a proposed airport to be constructed at a reclaimed portion of Manila Bay that is being planned by a private group.

Honrado said the international standard for a new gateway is that it should be around an hour’s travel from the key city of the country.

In the case of Clark, he said travel time from the terminal in Pampanga to Manila via the North Luzon Expressway could satisfy international standards but the traffic congestion in other parts of

Metro Manila could affect travel time.

Honrado also blamed the lack of night travel capability of key provincial airports as the main cause of congestion at the NAIA from early morning to late afternoon.

He cited Caticlan airport, gateway to Boracay island, which could only accommodate daytime flights, forcing passengers – mostly foreign tourists – to stay in Manila overnight before they could board their planes to the famous resort island.

Honrado said domestic flights would continue at the Manila Domestic Airport (NAIA 4), now home base of the two local airliners plying domestic routes.

Warning to HK travelers

Filipino travelers as well as transit passengers to Hong Kong, especially seafarers, were asked to refrain from bringing restricted items, particularly stun devices, in their hand carried and check-in luggage.

Vicente Guerzon, Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) assistant general manager for security and emergency services, said that the Philippine consulate general in Hong Kong through their website has received information from Hong Kong police that some Filipino travelers were arrested and convicted for possession of prohibited items such as tear gas, ammunition, flick knives, extended batons, stun guns and bullets made into souvenirs or amulets.

The Hong Kong police have arrested 14 Filipinos, including 13 seafarers, in 2013 for possession of illegal devices while in 2012, law enforcers in the Chinese territory nabbed 57 airline passengers.

Hong Kong courts impose fines of up to HK$100,000 or about $13,333 and a maximum prison sentence of 14 years.

Guerzon, together with Jess Martinez, assistant head of MIAA media affairs, issued the directive to members of the Office for Transportation Security (OTS) manning X-ray machines at the NAIA terminals to be strict and confiscate any stun devices that could jeopardize Filipinos bound for Hong Kong.

Authorities also gave the directive to all foreign airlines and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration. – With Rudy Santos