MANILA – The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 will start operating at full capacity next month as the Japanese contractor for the completion of the system works of the air hub is three quarters done with the repairs.
The completion of the airport’s facilities would pave way for the transfer of five airlines from the aging Terminal 1 (NAIA 1) to Terminal 3 (NAIA 3) by August. The five carriers are Singapore Airlines, Delta, Emirates, Cathay Pacific and KLM.
Moving the five international carriers’ operations from NAIA 1 to NAIA 3 would help decongest the 30-year-old terminal and allow more flexibility in the ongoing rehabilitation efforts at the said hub, officials said.
The terminal is also currently undergoing rehabilitation works which include structural retrofitting; improvement of mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire-protection facilities, and architectural works. It is expected to be completed by January 2015.
“The repair works are around 72 percent done. So we are still on schedule to have a fully functional Terminal 3 by the end of July,” Michael Arthur C. Sagcal, spokesman for the Department of Transportation and Communications told the BusinessMirror in a text message.
Japanese contractor Takenaka Corp. bagged the $40-million contract for the completion of the system works of the NAIA 3 in August last year.
Requirements for the completion include baggage handling, flight information displays, computer terminals, gate coordination, landing bridges and fire protection systems.
NAIA 3 is currently operating at half its annual capacity of 13 million passengers, pending the completion of the system works.
The full operation of Terminal 3 will allow a faster and more pleasant experience for passengers flying in and out of Manila. Once completed, the 182,500-square-meter terminal would have the capacity to service up to 33,000 passengers daily at peak, or 6,000 passengers per hour. It also has 34 air bridges and 20 contact gates, allowing it to service 28 planes simultaneously.
NAIA is expected to reach its maximum capacity by 2018.
As such, the government is considering several options to curb the growing congestion at the air hub.
One option is to close the airport and build a new one somewhere in Sangley Point in Cavite. This is currently being studied by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
Another option is to bid out the proposed $10-billion airport proposed by diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. The proposal involves the doubling of the capacity of NAIA. It is seen to be built between the cities of Las Piñas and Parañaque.
The government is also considering the development of a twin airport system wherein NAIA and Clark International Airport in Angeles City will be simultaneously rehabilitated.