NAIA Terminal 2 to become purely domestic hub by July

NAIA Terminal 2 to become domestic hub in July
Photo from the Manila International Airport Authority.
Terminal 2 of Ninoy Aquino International Airport will become a completely domestic hub by July 2023
• The shift will follow the transfer of all remaining international flights of Philippine Airlines from NAIA Terminal 2 to Terminal 1
• Manila International Airport Authority senior assistant general manager Bryan Co says the reassignment makes the Terminal 2 design more efficient and raises the facility’s capacity by up to 25%

Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2, previously the exclusive hub of Philippine Airlines, will become a purely domestic terminal by July 2023, an official of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) said on March 21.

This will be due to the transfer from NAIA 2 of all remaining international flights of PAL to Terminal 1, leaving the hub only for domestic flights, including those of PAL and AirAsia Philippines, MIAA senior assistant general manager Bryan Andersen Co said in a Laging Handa public briefing.

Co said the terminal reassignment is part of MIAA’s terminal assignment rationalization program, whose first phase was implemented last December when PAL’s international flights to the US, Canada, and Middle East were transferred to Terminal 1.

“By doing this, we are making the [terminals’] design more efficient and according to what it is intended for,” Co said.

He noted that Terminal 2 was originally designed to be a domestic terminal.

Co added that with the transfer of international flights to Terminal 1, the capacity of Terminal 2 will increase 20-25%, as it will be dedicated only to domestic flights. Immigration officers can also be redeployed to Terminals 1 and 3 to augment manpower and help address queuing at the immigration counters.

In 2018, there was a plan to change terminal assignment at NAIA, including making Terminal 2 a hub solely for domestic flights. PAL and sister airline PAL Express had for years been using Terminal 2 exclusively, but that was put on hold due to “unforeseen operational constraints.”

MIAA and the Department of Migrant Workers and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration are working on an overseas Filipino workers (OFW) lounge or a “dedicated channel” in Terminal 3, which processes more than 50% of the passengers going through NAIA. It will also cater to senior citizens, diplomats, and other preferred passengers.

Co said the “dedicated channel” plan for Terminal 3 is currently in the design phase and, once completed, will be bid out for the construction of the project.

The target opening is before October or November this year.

MIAA, meanwhile, is preparing for the expected increase in passengers from 120,000 to 140,000 daily this coming Holy Week and until the end of the dry season.

For this year, MIAA forecasts passenger traffic to hit 41-43 million, up from 31 million in 2022 and 7 million in 2021 but still less than the 48 million in pre-pandemic 2019.

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