DOTC eyes interconnecting NAIA terminals 1 and 2
MANILA, Philippines – To cope with the increasing number of tourist arrivals, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is now looking at further expanding the capacity of the congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) with the full airline operations at the NAIA terminal 3.
The government is aiming at interconnecting terminals 1 and 2 of NAIA, apart from building a NAIA terminal 5, DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said on Friday, August 1, on the sidelines of the inaugural flight of Delta Airlines and the opening of its Pacific Club lounge at NAIA 3.
“It will be better if we could bring NAIA terminal 2 closer to terminal 1. It will become more convenient for passengers to transfer,” Abaya said.
The government would first relocate the fuel depot between the two terminals so it could build a structure connecting both passenger terminal buildings, Abaya said.
The DOTC chief previously announced plans to put up a 5th terminal in NAIA to cater to international passengers in the future. The building would rise beside the NAIA 3.
Latest data from the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) showed the number of domestic and international passengers increased 3.1% to 32.87 million last year from 31.88 million in 2012.
The 4 terminals in NAIA have a combined capacity of 30 million.
Also, the agency is now also resolving the issue concerning the Philippine Village Hotel that is partly owned by the state-run Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).
The agency is just awaiting the valuation of the Commission on Audit (COA) regarding the property’s value so it could settle the amount with the GSIS, Abaya said.
“We are trying to resolve [the issue on] Philippine Village. We are just waiting for an assessment from COA. Whatever value or half of it or a fraction of it will be paid to GSIS then we demolish the building and plan the expansion of terminal 2,” Abaya said.
DOTC is also waiting for the recommendation of a consultant regarding the planned P2 billion ($45.68 million) parallel runway that would result in more landings and take-offs.
The dislocation of close to 600 families is the main issue concerning the proposed runway that could accommodate an Airbus A320 aircraft, Abaya said.
NAIA 3 fully operational
Takenaka Corp. of Japan has completed NAIA 3’s P1.9 billion ($43.39 billion) rehabilitation, paving the way for the transfer of the 5 foreign airlines.
The transfer of the “Big 5” to NAIA 3 would decongest NAIA 1 by bringing the passenger volume back to its design capacity of 4 million. The current and actual 8 million passenger volume, Abaya said.
Delta Airlines has already completed its relocation to NAIA 3 with the opening of its lounge on August 1. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Emirates, Singapore Airlines, and Cathay Pacific Airways are scheduled to transfer to NAIA 3 from NAIA 1 within the next two months.
The volume of passengers at NAIA 3 would increase to about 10 million, still within its design capacity of 13 million a year.
‘Slight delay’ in NAIA 1 rehab
Meanwhile, there has been a slight delay in the ongoing P1.3 billion ($29.69 million) rehabilitation of NAIA 1 being undertaken by DMCI Holdings that is supposed to be completed by January 2015, in time for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit.
“About 80% of its passenger area should be done by end-February next year. There will be lingering work underneath the passenger area but will not be felt by passengers,” Abaya said.
Wall St. Cheat Sheet, a United States financial media company, ranked NAIA the 8th worst airport in the world, citing overcapacity issues in terminals 1 and 3.
The DOTC is also looking at opening a new international airport by 2027, along with the joint development of NAIA in Manila and the Clark International Airport in Pampanga.
The number of passengers in Metro Manila would hit 106.7 million by 2040 from 31.88 million in 2012, a study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) showed.
JICA has also recommended Sangley Point in Cavite as the site of the new international airport, while diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corporation is proposing to build a $10-billion ($228.49 million) international gateway. – Rappler.com
*($1 = P43.77)