MANILA, Jan 23 (Mabuhay) – Airport congestion is not on the agenda under the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 rehabilitation, which starts Thursday, and passengers are expected the inconvenience of noise pollution long queues as some parts of the airport will be closed.
Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) general manager Jose Angel Honrado said the only solution in sight is to transfer flights to Terminal 3, which is also undergoing upgrades and won’t be fully operational until mid-2014.
“Dito sa gagawing [rehab], it will not address congestion. Ang mag-a-address ng congestion is ‘pag natapos Terminal 3 by July of this year, mag-li-lipat ng 3.5 million passengers from Terminal 1 to 3,” he said.
Wall St. Cheat Sheet, a United States financial media company, ranks NAIA eighth among the 10 Worst Airports in the World, citing capacity issues in Terminals 1 and 3.
NAIA Terminal 1, designed to handle 4.5 million passengers, processed 8.4 million passengers last year.
“Noong November na nag-start ang work sa Terminal 3 at expected completion ay July 2014, where the whole airport will be 100 percent operational,” Honrado said.
Last August, DOTC tapped Japanese contractor Takenaka Corp. to finish and integrate the systems works in Terminal 3.
The upgrade involves replacement and upgrade of 23 systems, including walk bridges, closed-circuit television, baggage handling, flight-information displays, computer terminals, gate coordination and fire-protection system.
Honrado said Terminal 1 will continue to operate but some portions of the facility will be closed to give way to rehabilitation works.
“Imposible namang mag-repair tayo ng ‘di magsasara ng portion, at ‘pag nagsara ka ng portion there will be some disturbance,” he said.
The airport management is suggesting passengers to go to the airport earlier than the usual two-hour allowance before boarding time.
“It’s for the improvement. ‘di naman pwedeng isara ‘yan [lahat] dahil saan naman dadalhin ang mga flights. So, hinihingi namin ang pasensya ng mga tao, the repair is here but there will still be some inconvenience,” he added.
Last Dec. 24, the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) awarded the rehabilitation contract for the 32-year-old terminal to listed contractor D.M. Consunji Inc. (DMCI).
DOTC green-lighted the rehabilitation works on January 13, giving DMCI a year to finish the project
DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya earlier said DMCI must complete the project by December 1, in time for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation senior officials’ and high-level meetings the Philippines will host.
Honrado said the project will include three components, namely structural retrofitting, improvement of mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection facilities, and architectural enhancement. (MNS)