After NAIA-1 rehab, what's next?

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 22 2015 03:32 PM | Updated as of Oct 22 2015 11:44 PM

MANILA - After the rehabilitation of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 (NAIA-1), what's next for the country's main gateway?

The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said it will now focus on decongesting the runway, which has been the cause of many flight delays daily.

“While we are pleased to hear that international travelers no longer rate NAIA among the world’s worst, there is obviously still a lot for us to do. Having fully opened Terminal 3 and substantially refurbishing Terminal 1 after decades of neglect, our next focus is decongesting the runway,” Transportation Secretary Jun Abaya.

NAIA is no longer among the world's "worst" airports according to the recent list of online travel site Guide to Sleeping in Airports, citing the airport's rehabilitation efforts and the introduction of a lounge in Terminal 3.

The DOTC has tapped world-renowned air traffic management expert NATS Services Limited for its NAIA Runway Optimization Project, which is aimed at maximizing the use of the runway and increasing hourly air traffic movements from 40 up to 60.

NATS will submit its recommendations on NAIA’s current airspace, runway and terminal capacity, air traffic and surface operations, runway access points, and Air Traffic Controllers’ training within the next six months.

Meanwhile, the DOTC said it is firm on bidding out NAIA to help improve the infrastructure and capacity of the airport.

According to Abaya, proposals to build a third runway and a new terminal at the airport will not really bring much improvement.

"On the third runway, we've seen through a study made by a runway consultant, it wouldn't really improve our efficiency in runways because essentially we need to cross our main runway and that, if you net that out there wouldn't be much improvement," he told ANC's "Business Nightly" in an interview Wednesday night.