The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) plans to interconnect Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminals 1 and 2 to make it more convenient for passengers to transfer as part of efforts to improve the country’s premier airport.
“Mas maganda [It would be better] if we could bring NAIA Terminal 2 closer to Terminal 1. Then it will become more convenient for passengers to transfer,” DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya told reporters.
“The challenge is, there is a fuel depot in between. So we need to relocate the depot to another equally safe [area]para madikit natin yung [so we can link]Terminals 1 and 2,” Abaya added.
“Do you build a new terminal or do you expand Terminals 1 and 2?
Terminal 3 still has room for expansion but I think that is way beyond us. Ang mahalaga [What is important] is to expand capacity in NAIA,” he said.
Earlier reports said the DOTC was looking at the possibility of building a parallel runway at NAIA and a fifth terminal next to Terminal 3 as part of overall expansion plans for the country’s premier airport.
With the renovation and retrofitting of Terminal 3 recently completed, passenger congestion at Terminal 1 would be lessened by around 50 percent, Abaya said. This is because five foreign airlines will be moving their operations from Terminal 1 to Terminal 3.
“From the actual 8 million passengers, you can drop it to 4.5 million a year,” Abaya said, which is actually the design capacity of Terminal 1.
One other issue that needs to be resolved concerns the Philippine Village Hotel, which is partly owned by the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), the DOTC chief said.
“We are just waiting for an assessment from COA [Commission on Audit] kung magkano na lang ba ang value nyan [on how much the value of the property is now]because GSIS is part owner. Whatever the value or half of it or a fraction of it will be paid to GSIS, then we demolish the building and we plan expansion of Terminal 2,” Abaya said.
NAIA is managed by the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), an agency under the DOTC. In 2012, NAIA was the 34th busiest airport in the world with passenger volume up by about 8 percent to a total of 32.1 million passengers.
In July last year, the DOTC stressed the need to undertake the “immediate construction” NAIA Terminal 1 because of structural issues.
“That’s the objective. Broadly [speaking]there are two separate projects, one would be the rehab of Terminal 1 so there are plans for that, and second would be the improvements of the greeters’ area,” Abaya said.
He said the rehabilitation works should be completed by February next year, in time for the country’s hosting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit.
“Matatapos sya [It will be completed] end of February,” Abaya said, referring to the Terminal 1 rehabilitation works, while further repairs below ground, out of sight of the passengers, are expected to be finished by April next year.