Major roads around NAIA to be closed during arrival, departure of Pope Francis

By , on December 23, 2014

Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Wikipedia photo
Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Wikipedia photo

MANILA — Major roads around the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA)Complex would be closed to vehicular traffic during the arrival into the country of Pope Francis on Jan. 15, 2015.

But flight operations remained open, the Manila International Airport Authority said on Monday.

MIAA general manager Jose Angel Honrado said that with the closure, NAIA could only be accessed through South Superhighway, Bicutan, Sucat and Alabang roads. NAIA Terminals 3 and 4 will also be isolated as a result.

On the arrival of Pope on Jan. 15, 2015, the Sales Avenue→Andrews Avenue→Domestic Road route will be closed from 3 p.m. -7 p.m.

Honrado also said that on the departure of Pope on Jan. 19, 2015, the same roads would be closed from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Meanwhile, Honrado sought the suggestion of airline companies since the expected impact of the closure will be on their operations.

A series of consultative meetings with local and foreign air carriers were held where the body agreed to suspend arrival of flights also for a certain time.

On Jan. 15, 2015, MIAA said that “road closure” hours will be from 3 p.m.-7 p.m. while “no arrival hours” will be from 2 p.m.- 7 p.m.

Meanwhile, on Jan. 19, 2015, road closure hours will be from 7 a.m.-10 am while no arrival hours will be from 6 a.m.-10:30 a.m.

Departure operations will however proceed for those flights with the corresponding aircraft on ground before the effectivity of the road closures.

Honrado said that MIAA would be providing shuttle buses to transport departing passengers with flights in NAIA Terminals 3 and 4 because these terminals would be completely inaccessible from the usual routes.

As for NAIA Terminals 1 and 2, Honrado said they could be reached via Bicutan, Sucat, Alabang through Ninoy Aquino Avenue.

The MIAA will use Parking B in NAIA Terminal 1 as staging area for passengers. From this point, the shuttle buses will bring the passengers to NAIA Terminals 3 and 4 via the Airside road network.

Before the road closure hours, NAIA Terminal 3 departure and arrival lobbies will be closed to non-passengers.

MIAA highly encourages the “drop and go” system to give well-wishers and those picking up passengers ample time to leave Terminal 3 and not get caught in there when the road closure begins.

It also encourages airline passengers who have flights on Jan. 15 and 19, 2015, to contact their airlines or their travel agency to discuss their revised flight schedules.

The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) for its part assured the airlines that they cannot be held liable for any delay or cancellation of flights because the situation is beyond their control.

MIAA, meanwhile, urges those with flights departing on these days to come much earlier to the NAIA so they can reach their respective Terminals before road closure hours.