MANILA, Philippines - The Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 could be fully operational by the end of 2013, Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said on Wednesday evening.
In an interview with ANC's Primetime, Abaya estimates it would take a year for Japanese contractor Takenaka to complete the 23 airport systems needed to make the NAIA-3 fully operational.
"We feel that once we get Takenaka to sign off, a one year period would be conservative from DOTC's point of view. We're quite optimistic that within one year of signing, which we could do by November, so we can see a fully operational Terminal 3 before Christmas 2013," he said.
The Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) and Takenaka Corp. signed a memorandum of understanding in Tokyo last March. The MOU is seen as the first legal step to the completion and full operations of NAIA 3, which has been running at below its maximum capacity since it opened in 2008.
Abaya hopes the DOTC can sign an agreement with Takenaka within the month.
"What we're hoping for is once we get an agreement signed, it would take Takenaka roughly a year to commission and make operational the whole of Terminal 3," Abaya said.
Takenaka was the original contractor commissioned by Philippine International Air Terminals Co. to build NAIA 3 in 1998. However, construction was halted in 2002 over allegations of anomalies surfaced.
The MOU signed by Takenaka and DOTC last March covers the delivery of 23 airport systems which are critical to NAIA 3's full operations, such as baggage handling and loading bridges.