17 years later, NAIA-3 to be fully operational by end of July

By , on July 29, 2014

Façade of NAIA Terminal 3 (Wikipedia photo)
Façade of NAIA Terminal 3 (Wikipedia photo)

Come the end of July 2014, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 will – 17 years since the awarding of the project’s contract –at long last be fully operational, according to the Transportation department.

“We are extremely pleased to confirm that full airline operations will begin at NAIA Terminal 3 next week. Our gateway airport will now be able to welcome 3.5 million more passengers with modern facilities every year, “ Transport chief Emilio Abaya said.

The completion of the project awarded to contractor Philippine International Air Terminals Co. (PIATCO), Inc. in 1997 was set for 2002, but moved at snail’s pace due to allegations of irregular transactions. Although the terminal opened in 2008, it has been running at half its capacity of 13 million passengers since then.

Due to the alleged anomalies of the PIATCO, the government enlisted the services Japanese firm Takenaka Corp. inAugust 2013, awarding them the $40-million contract for the completion of the system works of the NAIA 3.

“[T]he Japanese firm has undertaken completion works for systems such as, flight information displays, computer terminals, gate coordination, landing bridges, and fire protection systems” over the past year, the Transport department said.

The department said that eighty five percent of the works has been thus far completed, and noted that systems “which are non-critical to full airline operations, such as the building maintenance system,” will probably reach completion by the end of this year.

The completion of the NAIA-3 is in time for the transfer of five international carriers to the terminal. Starting August 1, Delta Airlines will be flying out of NAIA-3; with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Emirates, and Cathay Pacific soon to do the same.

The move of the five carriers to NAIA-3 is expected to reduce the burden on NAIA-1, which has been consistently ranked as the “worst airport in the world.”