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MANILA, Philippines – The long-delayed completion and rehabilitation of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 will finally begin following the release of the budget for the project.
Finishing remaining construction works on NAIA 3 will pave the way for its full operation, which is crucial in decongesting Terminal 1 of the Philippines’ main gateway.
The Department of Budget and Management said Tuesday, February 12, it gave the Department of Transportation and Communciations (DOTC) P1.89 billion for NAIA 3's rehab.
The DOTC earlier signed an agreement with Japanese contractor Takenaka Corp. for the completion and upgrade of the 182,500-square meter terminal.
Under the agreement, Takenaka will complete “23 systems,” including flight information display, baggage handling and reconciliation, fire alarm and protection, and passenger boarding bridges, among others.
“Some of the operations of NAIA 1 will be transferred to Terminal 3, effectively decongesting Terminal 1 and ensuring operational efficiency in both terminals. This is particularly crucial, given the administration’s energetic drive for better public infrastructure and other services that support our growing tourism industry,” Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said.
Once completed, NAIA 3 will serve 6,000 passengers per hour, or 33,000 passengers daily during peak season.
It will also have 34 air bridges and 20 contact gates, allowing it to accommodate 28 planes simultaneously.
“We’re anticipating a bigger volume of air traffic this year, especially since we’re [eyeing] 5.5 million foreign tourist arrivals this year,” Abad said.
The terminal was almost complete in 2002, but was mothballed for 6 years because of structural-turned-legal issues.
The Arroyo administration cancelled the contract of the consortium awarded the airport project – Philippine International Air Terminals Co. Inc. (Piatco) – because of irregularities, triggering a series of legal battles here and abroad. Structural issues were then put on hold, with the government and Piatco sub-contractor Takenaka taking years to agree on how to move the project forward.
The DOTC finally signed a deal with Takenaka recently, and promised NAIA 3 will be fully operational by end-2013.
Currently, only half of NAIA 3 is being used, and only budget carriers Cebu Pacific and AirPhil Express, as well as ANA or All Nippon Airways are mounting flights there. – Rappler.com
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