NAIA officials bare passenger’s options on days affected by Papal visit

By , on December 27, 2014


Pope Francis greets the pilgrims during his weekly general audience in St Peter's square at the Vatican on December 04, 2013. Giulio Napolitano / Shutterstock
Pope Francis greets the pilgrims during his weekly general audience in St Peter’s square at the Vatican on December 04, 2013. Giulio Napolitano / Shutterstock

MANILA, Philippines–An official of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) said on Thursday that passengers affected by the adjustments made to airport operations and such during the Pope’s visit in January can either rebook or cancel their flights, or just “go with the flow.”

Alvin Candelaria, officer-in-charge of the airport operations unit MIAA, said that passengers scheduled to depart via the Philippines’ main airport on January 15 and on January 19, 2015 – Pope Francis’ arrival and departure dates, respectively – will have to choose which option they prefer, as they will be faced with the closure of several roads surrounding the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) facility, as well as with altered airport operations, on those dates.

Candelaria pointed out that on January 15, the whole airport complex will be closed to arrivals from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.; while from 5:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m., landing and takeoff on runways and other “ground movement in the airport” will also be suspended.

On January 17, landing and takeoff, and other aircraft movement on the ground will be suspended from 7:45 a.m. – 8:45 a.m., and from 5:45 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.; while on January 19, the facility will be closed to arriving aircraft from 6 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., and there would be “totally no (ground) movement, landing, (and takeoff) from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.”

Meanwhile, Ma.Consuelo Bungag, officer-in-charge of the public affairs division of the MIAA, said that the “whole stretch of Sales Avenue all the way to Andrews Avenue; Domestic Road all the way to Park and Fly; and MIA Road going to Roxas Boulevard” will be closed from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. of January 15; whereas the same roads will be closed from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. on January

At a press conference held on Tuesday, Bungag said that airport officials have designated NAIA Terminal 1 Parking B as a “jump-off point” to allow travelers access to Terminals 3 and 4 during those days, as some “NAIA terminals can only be accessed via South Superhighway through Bicutan, Alabang and Sucat Road.”

“So what do we expect to happen? From [this] staging area, those travelers will be brought to Terminals 3 and 4 via shuttle buses owned by Naia, and these will pass by the airside because that’s the only way we can get them to the two terminals,” Bungag noted.

Bungag also stressed that travelers who opt to push through with their flights, as scheduled, will have to adjust the time allotted for travel to the airport, and will have to get to the airport “five to six hours” ahead of their scheduled flight.