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NAIA passenger volume rises 4% in 2014

MANILA, Philippines - The volume of passengers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) has increased by about four percent amid the rehabilitation works being undertaken on the country’s premier international gateway.

Data from the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) showed the number of domestic and international passengers reached 34.1 million last year from 32.8 million in 2013.

The number of arriving and departing domestic passengers at NAIA went up 1.8 percent to 18.02 million last year from 17.69 million in 2013, while international passenger traffic went up 5.9 percent to 16.07 million from 15.17 million.

The increase could be attributed to the increasing number of foreign tourists visiting the Philippines after national flag carrier Philippine Airlines Inc. (PAL) of taipan Lucio Tan and budget airline Cebu Air Inc. (Cebu Pacific) of tycoon John Gokongwei launched more long-haul flights.

Likewise, the lower fares offered by both airlines continue to boost domestic tourism as more Filipinos are encouraged to travel by air.

Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya earlier said the P1.3-billion rehabilitation of the NAIA Terminal 1 being undertaken by listed construction giant DM Consunji Inc. would finally be completed in May.

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The project involves the structural retrofitting, improvement of mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection facilities, as well as architectural works of the decades-old terminal building.

On the other hand, Takenaka Corp. of Japan has completed the P1.9-billion retrofitting works at NAIA Terminal 3, paving the way for the transfer of major foreign airlines from NAIA-1.

The NAIA-1 used to operate beyond its design capacity of 4.5 million as it handled over eight million passengers. With the completion of NAIA-3 with a total capacity of 13 million passengers a year, NAIA-1 is now operating within its design capacity.

Last October, NAIA finally got rid of its world’s worst airport tag amid the expanded operations of NAIA-3 and renovations of NAIA-1.

A survey conducted by “The Guide to Sleeping in Airports” on named the Islamabad Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Pakistan as the worst airport in the world, followed by Jeddah King Abdulaziz International Airport in Saudi Arabia and Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport in Nepal.

NAIA has slid to fourth place after topping the list for the past three years.

Completing the list of Top 10 worst airports in the world are Tashkent international airport in Uzbekistan; the Paris Beauvais-Tille international airport in France; the Frankfurt Hahn international airport in Germany; the Bergamo Orio al Serio in Italy; the Berlin Tegel in Germany; and the New York City La Guardia international airport in the US.

The DOTC Is rushing the completion of rehab work  at NAIA as the Philippines is set to host several meetings of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) including the Leader’s Summit scheduled later this year.

The DOTC is looking at putting into operation a new international airport by 2027 with the joint development of NAIA in Manila and the Clark International Airport in Pampanga, as a study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) showed that the number of passengers in the Greater Capital Region would hit 106.7 million by 2040 from 31.88 million in 2012.


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