MANILA - The government is planning to build another terminal at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) to help ease the growing congestion at the main international gateway in Manila, a Cabinet official revealed.
“We are pushing through with Naia Terminal 5, but we haven’t decided on the structure of the project yet,” Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio A. Abaya told the BusinessMirror in a text message.
The secretary said the government is reviewing whether the plan could be implemented under the key infrastructure initiative of the government, the Public-Private-Partnership Program.
He added that the new terminal would be constructed near the Naia Terminal 3 (Naia 3), which is currently undergoing rehabilitation.
Abaya, who could not provide further details, said the project would have to go through further approvals.
“It will still have to go through the approval process. It will have to go to the Neda [National Economic and Development Authority],” he said.
The plan came on the heels of the proposed $10-billion airport of San Miguel Corp. President Ramon S. Ang who said that the proposed air hub would undergo public auction once approved.
The proposed airport, which is seen to replace Naia, would be built in a 1,600-hectare land in the cities of Parañaque and Las Piñas.
The airport will have complete features that include the establishment of a general aviation office, maintenance facilities, a low-cost carrier terminal, a train system, and a dedicated tollway.
Abaya earlier said the government is separately mulling over the closure of Naia and replace it with a larger air hub, seen to be constructed either in Sangley Point in Cavite or in Laguna de Bay.
Naia is expected to reach its maximum capacity in 2018.
Amid the proposals, two of the terminals at the Naia are currently being rehabilitated.
The 30-year-old Naia Terminal 1 (Naia 1) is also currently undergoing rehab work which include: structural retrofitting, improvement of mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection facilities, and architectural works.
Naia 1 has a passenger load of 8 million annually, almost double compared to its original capacity of 4.5 million passengers per year.
It is expected to be completed by the first of December this year, in time for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in 2015.
Meanwhile, Takenaka Corp., which bagged the $40-million contract for the completion of the system works of the Naia 3, has now completed 62 percent of the requirements.
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, pending the completion of the system works at the said terminal.
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.