Thursday, March 4, 2021
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Upgrades expand NAIA flight movement capacity

  • The upgrade of airside facilities at Ninoy Aquino International Airport has been completed, increasing the airport’s maximum allowable commercial flight movement capacity to 10 more per hour or a total of 240 commercial flight movements per day
  • The upgrade includes repair and cement overlay of NAIA’s Runway 13/31 and the construction of an additional holding area at Runway 13
  • The airport authority is confident that when additional airside-related projects are completed within 2021 and 2022, the goal of 60 commercial flight movements per hour can be achieved

Commercial flight movement capacity at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) will increase now that the upgrade of airside facilities at the Philippines’ primary gateway has been completed.

The upgrade included the repair and cement overlay of NAIA’s Runway 13/31 and the construction of the additional holding area Hotel 5 or H5 (153 meters long by 22 meters wide) at Runway 13.

These upgrades boost the airport’s maximum allowable commercial flight movement capacity from 40 flight movements per hour to 50, or a total of 240 commercial flight movements per day, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said in a statement.

The concrete overlay used to improve Runway 13 is expected to last between 15 to 20 years, and it is also less prone to potholes, soft spots and rutting. DOTr noted that a concrete surface also requires less maintenance and repair, meaning less traffic delays and flight disruptions in NAIA.

DOTr added that a better runway and taxiway surface that is free from potholes and surface depression will translate to faster aircraft movement and ground efficiency.

The newly constructed aircraft holding point/taxiway (Hotel 5), meanwhile, will also increase the aircraft movement area.

The completion of the upgrade project, inaugurated on February 16, is seen as timely as the country prepares for the deliveries of COVID-19 vaccines this year.

“This completed project will be beneficial in facilitating air traffic at NAIA, especially needed now, as we prepare for the continuous arrival of vaccines for the people,” executive secretary Salvador Medialdea said in his keynote speech during the inauguration.

Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) general manager Eddie Monreal said they are confident that when additional airside-related projects are completed within 2021 and 2022, the goal of 60 commercial flight movements per hour target can be achieved even without waiting for the private sector to rehabilitate the gateway.

MIAA last January denied the motion filed by the consortium of Megawide Construction Corp. and Indian-based GMR Infrastructure Ltd. seeking to overturn the revocation of its original proponent status (OPS) for NAIA’s rehabilitation project.

The consortium submitted the unsolicited proposal in 2018 and was granted OPS in July 2020 but MIAA revoked in December 2020.

Aside from GMR-Megawide, San Miguel Corp. and Philippine Airport Ground Support Solutions, Inc. have also submitted separate proposals, but only to operate and maintain NAIA.

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