NAIA Terminal 5? Ramon Ang bares plans for Philippines’ main airport

Ralf Rivas

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NAIA Terminal 5? Ramon Ang bares plans for Philippines’ main airport

CONGESTED AIRPORT. Passengers queue at the immigration area of NAIA Terminal 1 on June 16, 2023.

Jire Carreon/Rappler

The San Miguel-led consortium tasked to rehabilitate what's been dubbed one of the world's worst airports is building a new passenger terminal in the old Philippine Village Hotel complex

MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel Corporation (SMC) president and chief executive officer Ramon Ang unveiled some of his plans for the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), including the construction of a new passenger terminal and a Skyway bypass to address congestion issues at the country’s main gateway.

NAIA Terminal 5? Ramon Ang bares plans for Philippines’ main airport

Following the signing of a concession agreement on Monday, March 18, Ang said the SMC-led consortium will construct a new passenger terminal building in the abandoned Philippine Village Hotel compound to increase the airport capacity – currently at 35 million passengers per year – and provide parking for some 9,000 vehicles.

Offices at the existing NAIA terminals will also be relocated to the new passenger terminal building.

Asked if the new terminal would be called Terminal 5, Ang said he is still unsure what to call it. He noted that construction could take at least three years.

The government had regained control of the old Philippine Village Hotel in November 2023. It was once considered a security risk due to its decaying facade.

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Skyway connector

To ease traffic congestion, Ang said the consortium is planning to build a three-lane Skyway bypass from Magallanes going to NAIA Terminal 3. There will also be a two-way lane going to Pasay City, according to the tycoon.

Ang said the bypass will be completed by March 2025, which would be six months after the turnover of the airport’s operations and maintenance to the consortium.

Bulacan airport

It’s not just NAIA that Ang is developing. 

SMC is currently laying the groundwork for the construction of a P740-billion airport in Bulacan. The company said it aims to begin major developments in 2025.

Ang said the Bulacan airport will be able to absorb the “spillover” passengers of NAIA.

He explained that NAIA would be limited by its intersecting runway. The airplanes that would be able to land on it would be narrow-bodied, carrying fewer passengers.

“Ultimately, it’s a good combination to have a NAIA and a Bulacan [airport],” Ang said.

No to politics?

Meanwhile, Ang shut down speculations that NAIA’s name would be changed under the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

NAIA was named after former senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., who was assassinated at the airport on August 21, 1983. Aquino was a staunch critic of the dictatorship of Marcos’ father.

“[The name] was enacted by Congress. At the same time, ‘wag na natin pakialaman ang mga pangalan na ‘yan kasi pulitika ‘yan, maraming magagalit (let’s not touch the name because that’s political, many will get angry),” Ang said. –

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Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.