MIAA: Improvements at NAIA being fast-tracked

By Ma. Cristina Arayata

June 14, 2023, 3:52 pm Updated on June 14, 2023, 7:54 pm

<p>NAIA Terminal 1 (<em>PNA photo by Cristina Arayata</em>)</p>

NAIA Terminal 1 (PNA photo by Cristina Arayata)

MANILA – Improvements at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the country's main gateway, are being fast-tracked, its management said Wednesday.

The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), which oversees NAIA's operations, is targeting to complete the construction of an immigration annex at the NAIA Terminal 3 departure area by December.

The immigration annex, which will cater to persons with disabilities, senior citizens, diplomat, and overseas Filipino workers, will have six counters and 24 immigration officers.

The construction and rehabilitation of comfort rooms across the four terminals are "underway", according to MIAA.

Also being fast-tracked are the boarding bridges and chiller replacements, the upgrade of taxiways, expansion of closed-circuit television (CCTV) coverage, and digitization. However, the management sees the completion of these projects in two to three years.

"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,” MIAA officer in charge Bryan Co said in a statement.

Co issued an apology to the passengers and stakeholders at the NAIA Terminal 3 last June 9, as the terminal was hit by a power outage for over 30 minutes.

Several flights were delayed by the outage, which he said was caused by a personnel who inadvertently left a testing cable attached to one of the electric equipment that day.

The MIAA said it has met with Meralco and its subsidiary, MServ, to ensure that no system will be left out during the full electrical audit being conducted.

MServ was tapped to lead the full electrical audit of Terminal 3 following the power outage in the same terminal, affecting over 9,000 passengers last May 1.

NAIA Terminal 3 alone had power outage three times since September 2022.

Last Jan. 1, hundreds of flights were either canceled, delayed or diverted and thousands of passengers were affected by a system glitch that paralyzed the country's airspace for hours.

Also this year, a number of airport security screeners got involved in security breach and alleged theft.

Some people have been sharing on social media their frustration on long immigration queues, delayed luggage release, among others. It can also be recalled that NAIA has been among the worst airports in the world, based on surveys.

Meanwhile, the MIAA said it is constantly looking for ways to reduce congestion at the airport.

Last December, the MIAA started to remove the initial screening procedure at the NAIA Terminal 1 to mitigate the long queues at the airport. (PNA)