Beginning October this year, passengers can look forward to shorter queues at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) as its terminal fees will already be incorporated in the prices of airline tickets.
The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) has recently concluded talks with international air carrier representatives to include the international passenger service charge (IPSC), commonly referred to as terminal fees, in the prices of airline tickets starting October.
“We congratulate MIAA on this new policy. It improves traveling convenience and efficiency at NAIA by removing a whole process which unnecessarily adds to the passengers’ processing time, requiring them to line up when payment can be done ahead of time,” Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said in a statement.
According to MIAA, the integration of the IPSC into the prices of airline tickets will help address the congestion problem for departing passengers at NAIA and free up a sizeable area since the existing terminal fee counters will be removed.
It said the policy is at par with international standards and practices because among ASEAN countries, it is only the Philippines that still collects terminal fees on a face-to-face basis at the airport.
According to the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that MIAA will sign with air carriers later this month, the IPSC will be integrated by default in the prices of tickets, whether purchased online or through ticketing offices or travel agents.
The integration program will have a one-year transition period ending in September 2015. Full implementation of the policy will start in October 2015.
MIAA said the P550 per passenger terminal fee that it collects is essential to the continued operations of the airport. Out of this amount, P390 is MIAA’s share for maintenance and upkeep, P100 goes to the national government, and P60 is for aviation security.
The DOTC is currently undertaking major upgrades for NAIA, particularly for Terminals 1 and 3. The Terminal 1 Rehabilitation project, which entails structural retrofitting, architectural works, and improvement of mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection facilities is scheduled for completion in January 2015.
Completion works for Terminal 3 are set to be finished next month, to pave the way for the transfer of five airlines from Terminal 1 to Terminal 3 by August 2014. The five airlines moving to Terminal 3 are Singapore Airlines, Delta, Emirates, Cathay Pacific, and KLM Airlines.
The move will also help decongest Terminal 1 and allow for more flexibility in the ongoing rehabilitation efforts.