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At last, NAIA 3 repair underway

MANILA, Philippines - The Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 (NAIA 3) will finally get its much-needed rehabilitation after the government released P1.89 billion to the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) for the facility’s completion.

Upon completion of the project, NAIA 3 will have the capacity to serve 6,000 passengers per hour, or 33,000 passengers daily during peak season.

It will have 34 air bridges and 20 contact gates, allowing the terminal to accommodate 28 planes simultaneously.

In a statement, Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad said the move was in support of the Aquino administration’s goal of boosting public infrastructure and the country’s fast-growing tourism industry.

The government earlier signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Takenaka Corp. to implement the completion, renovation, and upgrade of the 182,500-square meter terminal for $45 million.

Part of the MOU is the “Civil Works Agreement (CWA) Estimate of 23 Systems,” which will include the development of a flight information display system, baggage handling and reconciliation system, fire alarm and protection system, and passenger loading bridges, among others.

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“Once the development of NAIA 3 is completed, 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,” Abad said.

He said the Department of Tourism (DOT)’s successful campaign and cheaper airfares and regular airline promos helped increase the popularity of air travel in the country.

“Last year alone, the number of tourists rose from 3.9 million in 2011 to 4.2 million in 2012. We’re anticipating a bigger volume of air traffic this year, especially since we’re shooting for 5.5 million foreign tourist arrivals this year,” Abad said.

Earlier, the DOTC said it was confident that the NAIA 3 would become operational by December 2013.

The terminal was close to being finished but it was mothballed in 2002 and partially opened in 2008.

The build-operate-transfer (BOT) project between the government and a consortium of Filipino and German companies was marred with legal battles here and abroad.

Along the way, addressing the structural issues was put on hold, with the government and Takenaka taking years to agree on how to move the project forward.

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