DOTC eyes interconnection of NAIA 1 and 2
Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - August 2, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is now looking at further expanding the capacity of the congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport with the full operations at NAIA Terminal 3 to cope with the increasing number of tourists.

Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya yesterday said the government is mulling the interconnection of terminals 1 and 2 of NAIA.

Aside from building a NAIA Terminal 5, Abaya pointed out that the government is studying the possibility of augmenting the passenger capacities of both terminals 1 and 2.

“It will be better if we could bring NAIA Terminal 2 closer to Terminal 1. It will become more convenient for passengers to transfer,” he said on the sidelines of the inaugural flight of Delta Airlines and the opening of its Pacific Club lounge at NAIA 3.

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.

Latest data from the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) showed that the number of domestic and international passengers increased by 3.1 percent to 32.865 million last year from 31.877 million in 2012.

The four terminals in NAIA have a combined capacity of 30 million.

The DOTC chief earlier announced plans to put up a fifth terminal in NAIA. The building would rise beside the NAIA 3.

He added that 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).

He said the agency is just awaiting valuation of the Commission on Audit (COA) on the property so it could settle the amount with the GSIS.

“Whatever value – 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,” he said.

He pointed out that the DOTC is also waiting for the recommendation of a consultant with regard to the planned P2-billion parallel runway that would result in more landings and take-offs.

The main issue of the proposed runway that could accommodate Airbus A320 aircraft, he said, is the dislocation of close to 600 families.

Delta Airlines has completed its relocation to NAIA 3 with the opening of its lounge yesterday. Other foreign airlines including 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.

Takenaka Corp. of Japan has completed the P1.9- billion rehabilitation of NAIA 3, paving the way for the transfer of the five foreign airlines.

Abaya said the transfer of the “Big Five” to NAIA 3 would decongest NAIA 1 by bringing the volume of passengers back to design capacity of four million from the current eight million.

On the other hand, the volume of passengers at NAIA 3 would increase to about 10 million compared to its design capacity of 13 million a year.

The DOTC chief cited a slight delay in the ongoing P1.3-billion rehabilitation of NAIA 1 being undertaken by DMCI Holdings that is supposed to be completed by January.

“About 80 percent 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,” he said.

Based on the recommendation of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the DOTC is looking at putting into operation a new international airport probably at Sangley Point in Cavite by 2027 with the joint development of NAIA in Manila and the Clark International Airport in Pampanga.

The government is open to evaluating the proposal of SMC to put up a new $10-billion airport in a 1,600-hectare property owned by CyberBay Corp. along the Manila-Cavite coastal road. – With Rudy Santos    


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