Gov't eyes increasing aircraft movement at NAIA

By Ma. Cristina Arayata

February 26, 2024, 4:46 pm

<p>Ninoy Aquino International Airport (<em>PNA file photo by Cristina Arayata</em>)</p>

Ninoy Aquino International Airport (PNA file photo by Cristina Arayata)

MANILA – The government is looking for ways to increase aircraft movement -- the takeoff and landing-- at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to 48 per hour from the current 41.

The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) manages the NAIA. However, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), which manages 44 other commercial airports, on Monday said its officials recently met with their Hong Kong counterpart to discuss ways to increase the aircraft movements per hour.

“We wanted to collaborate if this is achievable and if yes, how and what to do to achieve the goal,” CAAP Deputy Director General Danjun Lucas in a news release.

The CAAP said a group of air traffic controllers visited the Hong Kong International Airport's air traffic facilities earlier to learn best practices.

Prior to this, CAAP had initiated measures to boost airplane movements.

Increasing the flight movements to 48 per hour took into consideration the infrastructure limitations, plus the goal of doubling the annual passenger capacity from 32 million to 60 million.

MIAA recorded 279,953 flight movements in 2023, marking a 3 percent increase from the 271,535 flight movements in 2019 or pre-Covid pandemic.

Of the 2023 figure, 171,605 were domestic flights and 108,348 were international.

MIAA acting General Manager Eric Jose Ines earlier said they have recorded a 12 percent increase in domestic flights compared to pre-pandemic levels. 

He attributed the increase to the fact that domestic borders were the first to remove restrictions.

The MIAA added that further improvements in facilities, equipment, infrastructure, runways and terminals are expected to accommodate the increasing volume of passengers, which totaled to over 45.38 million in 2023. (PNA)