Plans for NAIA terminals revealed

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NAIA Terminal 3.
  • The New NAIA Infra Corporation plans to expand Terminals 2 and 3 at Ninoy Aquino International Airport
  • Terminal 1 will be rehabilitated and Terminal 4 repurposed as a warehouse and office site
  • Various systems will be installed to improve air traffic movement, including an electronic flight strips system, advanced surface movement and ground control system; and an automated terminal information system

The New NAIA Infra Corporation (NNIC) plans to expand two terminals at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and put in place various systems to improve air traffic movement, according to the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

Transport Secretary Jaime Bautista, in a speech delivered by his executive assistant Jonathan Gesmundo during a recent seminar by the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines, broke down NNIC’s technical plans at rehabilitating and modernizing the country’s main gateway.

NNIC is the special purpose company formed by the winning bidder of the 15-year concession agreement for the NAIA rehabilitation project—SMC SAP & Company Consortium, which is composed of San Miguel Holdings Corp., RMM Asian Logistics, Inc.; RLW Aviation Development Inc., and Incheon International Airport Corp.

READ: Signing of P170B concession agreement jump-starts NAIA modernization

DOTr said NNIC plans to expand two of NAIA’s passenger terminal buildings. The north wing of Terminal 2 will be expanded towards the Philippine Village Hotel and Nayong Pilipino area. The south wing will be extended towards Terminal 1 after the International Cargo Complex and fuel farm are relocated.

The expansion of Terminal 2 will lead to a jump in capacity from nine million passengers per year to 32 million, DOTr noted.

The north concourse of Terminal 3 will also be expanded to accommodate 25 million passengers per year from 14 million.

Terminal 1 will be rehabilitated, while Terminal 4 will eventually be closed after Terminal 2 has been expanded. Terminal 4 will be repurposed as a warehouse and site of admin offices.

Passenger capacity of all terminals will eventually jump from 32 million passengers a year to 60 million.

To improve air traffic movement from 40 per hour to 48 per hour, DOTr said NNIC plans to install various systems, including an electronic flight strips system, which is part of the modernization of the government’s communications, navigation and surveillance systems for air traffic management.

NNIC also plans to install an automated weather observation system; advanced surface movement and ground control system; and an automated terminal information system.

DOTr said NNIC also agreed to Bautista’s suggestion to activate the long-inoperable aircraft visual guidance docking system, which is useful at night and during lightning storms. This system enables automated docking of aircraft to their assigned gates without the need for marshals who are exposed to risks of extreme heat or foul weather.

The respective apron control operation of the four terminals will also be integrated in a single digital remote apron tower facility while one of the control towers will be refurbished as a back-up control tower.

A new digital remote apron tower facility will be constructed near Terminal 3, integrating all relevant systems to improve apron control operations.

NNIC will also install solar panels and local power storage facilities, and the full overlay of the 3.7-kilometer Runway 06-24.

An arrival manager will be incorporated in the existing air traffic management system to optimize high-intensity single runway operations. DOTr said this will enable air traffic controllers to efficiently sequence landings while another functionality would allow take-offs to be interweaved with landings.

The installation of the advanced surface movement and ground control system at all control towers will considerably improve management of ground vehicle and aircraft movement.

Several enhancements in passenger comfort and convenience include repair or replacement of the passenger boarding bridges; upgrade or replacement of baggage handling system; improvement in inter-terminal passenger and baggage transfer; construction of new surface access and airside roads; and improvement of passenger pick-up and drop-off flow.

NNIC also plans to improve the existing automated terminal information system as well as vital communication systems.

A new remote apron will be designated for general aviation, while aircraft parking will increase from 61 to 104 bays.

To be built adjacent to the north wing of Terminal 2 is a three-storey Airport Express Hotel to accommodate those who missed their connecting flights and those who have early morning departures.

Vehicle parking outside of Terminals 1 and 3 will more than double from 5,800 to 12,400 slots. At Terminal 1, a multi-level carpark building will rise with an area of more than 62,000 square meters (sqm), while at Terminal 3, a new five-level carpark will be added to the existing carpark.

Likewise, an access road will be constructed towards the north wing of Terminal 2 once expansion is finished.

Over at Terminal 3, a new 63,000 sqm headhouse building will be constructed, equipped with the necessary airport systems and management components.

NNIC’s plans also include building an overseas Filipino workers’ lounge at Terminal 3 similar to that at Terminal 1.

They will also undertake a re-training of air traffic controllers and construct a new sewage treatment plant.

On top of all these, NNIC will review the airspace capacity and procedure designs of the whole airport complex.

NNIC is set to take over the operations of NAIA by September 14. In an analysts’ briefing material disclosed to the local bourse, San Miguel Corp. said as of March 31, land development and ground improvement works at NAIA are ongoing at 79.5% while airport development works is estimated to commence in 2025.