MIAA commits to electrical audit, fast tracking projects

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MIAA commits to electrical audit, fast tracking projects
  • The Manila International Airport Authority has committed to complete its electrical system audit and is fast-tracking various projects that will significantly enhance operations at Ninoy Aquino International Airport
  • MIAA is speeding up the replacement of passenger boarding bridges, replacement of chillers, upgrading of taxiways, expanding the coverage of its CCTV system, digitalization of airport operations and passenger systems, among other projects
  • The projects will be completed in 24 to 36 months’ time
  • At Terminal 3, MIAA had earlier announced the immediate construction of additional immigration counters to increase their number to 36 from 30
  • The comprehensive plan for the electrical audit was firmed up to ensure no system will be left out in the course of the probe

The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) has committed to complete its electrical system audit and is fast-tracking various projects aimed at significantly enhancing operations at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

MIAA is fast-tracking the replacement of passenger boarding bridges, replacement of chillers, upgrading of taxiways, expanding the coverage of its CCTV system, digitalization of airport operations and passenger systems, among other projects.

In a statement, MIAA said it expects the completion of these major projects in 24 to 36 months’ time.

“Times are very challenging for us now, but, be that as it may, we are taking steps and exploring all ways possible to achieve our deliverables based on our established priorities,” MIAA officer-in-charge Bryan Co said.

Construction of additional comfort rooms in NAIA Terminals 1, 2 and 3 and rehabilitation of existing ones are also underway.

In Terminal 3, MIAA has earlier announced the immediate construction of additional immigration counters, increasing the number to 36 from 30 currently.

MIAA also hopes to complete by December this year the construction of an immigration annex, where six counters will be built, allowing the deployment of 24 more immigration officers. Once completed, the annex will serve as a processing area for overseas Filipino workers, persons with disability, senior citizens, and diplomats.

Building the annex is MIAA’s show of support to the Bureau of Immigration, as earlier intimated to its commissioner during the planning stages of the airport authority’s terminal reassignment program that aims to optimize the capacity of the four NAIA terminals.

Apart from facilities, MIAA said it is constantly studying process flows to reduce congestion points so passengers can have a more convenient airport experience. It noted that the removal of the initial security checkpoints in the terminals have proved to be a welcome relief to travelers.

“As we embark on all these tasks, we continuously appeal for understanding and patience from all our stakeholders. With everyone’s support, we can have a better NAIA that we can all be proud of,” Co said.

In a meeting with electric power distribution company Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) and its subsidiary, Meralco Energy Inc. (MServ), MIAA said the comprehensive plan for the electrical audit was firmed up to ensure that no system will be left out in the course of the probe.

The electrical audit is part of MIAA’s power services improvement following the May 1 incident, when NAIA Terminal 3 experienced a power outage that delayed and cancelled flights.

MServ was tapped to lead the full electrical audit of Terminal 3 to determine the various equipment that need to be upgraded, rehabilitated or purchased to make Terminal 3’s power system reliable and resilient.

MIAA said it is confident that “with Mserv’s expertise and proven track record, they will be able to bring out the coveted solutions to the present state of NAIA’s electrical systems.”

On June 9 though, NAIA Terminal 3 experienced a 37-minute power outage from 12:52pm to 1:29pm caused by an error of an MServ personnel during a scheduled electrical audit of NAIA substations.

According to an incident report, an MServ personnel accidentally left grounding conductors attached to an electrical equipment during a testing activity. The conductors triggered an electrical fault at 12:50pm that subsequently caused the power interruption.

Co earlier said MIAA is already about to procure additional emergency generator sets to increase the power supply capacity to raise the terminal’s power requirements to 80-90% from the current 30%.

Co said the authority will wait first for the additional gensets to be delivered before it will proceed with the audit of other substations that will affect technical areas in NAIA to ensure there will be backup power.

MIAA’s projects are being conducted even as the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the airport operator have submitted a proposal for a solicited public-private partnership project to modernize NAIA.

DOTr Undersecretary for Aviation and Airports Roberto Lim earlier said the department’s estimated “doable” timeline of selecting the winning bidder is by the first quarter of 2024.

RELATED READ: Awarding of NAIA rehab project seen in Q1 2024

DOTr and MIAA are also reviewing an unsolicited proposal by Manila International Airport Consortium to operate and maintain NAIA.