MANILA, Philippines – The Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 (NAIA-3) is set to be fully operational by July 31, 17 years after the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) awarded the concession agreement.
“We are extremely pleased to confirm that full airline operations will begin at NAIA Terminal 3 next week. Our gateway airport will now be able to welcome 3.5 million more passengers with modern facilities every year, and Terminal 1 will now be considerably decongested to improve passenger convenience,” Transportation Secretary Jun Abaya said in a statement Thursday.
The transfer of five international airlines to NAIA-3 will also push through, with Delta Airlines scheduled to transfer on August 1 while KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Emirates, Singapore Air and Cathay Pacific set to follow within the month.
“The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) has informed us that Delta Airlines will have its first flight out of Terminal 3 on August 1st, while KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will move within the first week of August. Singapore Airlines, Emirates, and Cathay Pacific will follow suit by the end of next month. These five carriers have the highest volume of international flights coming in and out of NAIA, so we look forward to giving them a new home,” Abaya said.
The transfer to Terminal 3 is expected to help ease congestion at the NAIA Terminal 1, which is currently undergoing renovation.
The NAIA-3 project was awarded in 1997 and was scheduled to be completed in 2002. However, legal issues in the bidding process delayed the project.
The DOTC resumed negotiations with the project’s original contractor, Takenaka Corporation of Japan, to complete its facilities regardless of the dispute.
“When I assumed office in October 2012, I continued Secretary [Mar] Roxas’ negotiations with Takenaka until we were able to convince them in July last year to finish the project. President Aquino’s Daang Matuwid promise calls for political will to prevail in order to deliver the government services our people deserve, so we made sure that 17 years and 4 administrations later, the whole Terminal 3 facility may be enjoyed by the public within this term,” Abaya said.
Takenaka’s $40 million contract, which was signed in August last year, involves the completion works for flight information displays, computer terminals, gate coordination, landing bridges, and fire protection systems.
Several systems that do not affect full airline operations, such as the building maintenance system, will be completed within the year.