GROWING congestion at the country’s premier airport has begun to alarm both the government and the private sector as the demand for the airport’s facilities–terminal and runway—is already way beyond the airport’s current capacity, a government official said.
“In 2015, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport [NAIA] handled 36.7 million passengers–more than its capacity of 30 million for combined terminal capacities,” Maria Cherry Lyn Rodolfo, a member of the Export Development Council Networking Committee on Transport and Logistics, said on Wednesday during a briefing on airport policy.
“Domestic passenger volume reached 19.4 million and grew by 7.7 percent from 2014. International passenger traffic, on the other hand, reached 17.1 million but growth was relatively stagnant during the year,” Rodolfo said.
“Safety concerns, passenger inconvenience and foregone business revenues have become pressing issues for both the government and private sector,” she added.
NAIA recently reported that it handled 39.5 million passengers in 2016, including 20.6 million domestic and 18.9 million international passengers, as against its design capacity of 31 million passengers annually.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency recently pointed out that future demand for a capital gateway cannot be achieved because of capacity constraints at the NAIA.
NAIA has two intersecting runways, runway 06/24 (which is 3,737 meters long and 60 meters wide) and runway 13/31 (which is 1,995 meters long and 45 meters wide).
“Because of these inbuilt constraints, there are limits to the type of aircraft that can use each runway,” Rodolfo said.
The government recently completed the P1.3-billion rehabilitation project of Terminal 1, involving the redesign of the terminal interiors to provide wider passenger movement areas.