NAIA completes airside upgrade

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    The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) is confident to increase Ninoy Aquino International Airport’s (NAIA) commercial flight movement per hour from 40 up to 60 by 2022.

    NAIA’s upgraded airside was inaugurated yesterday, boosting the country’s premier gateway’s maximum allowable capacity from 40 to 50 flight movements per hour, or a total of 240 commercial flight movements per day.

    Repair and cement overlay of NAIA’s Runway 13/31 has been completed as well as the construction of an additional holding area (H5) at Runway 13, which is 153 meters long by 22 meters wide.

    The Department of Transportation (DOTr) prior to this, MIAA’s airside facilities including its runways, taxiways, aircraft holding areas/points and aprons constantly suffered from potholes and surface depressions which caused longer aircraft ground time prior to landing and/or take off, and limited number of aircraft movements per hour which caused flight delays and congestion.

    Ed Monreal, MIAA general manager, said the agency is confident that when NAIA’s additional airside related projects are completed within 2021 and 2022, it can, on its own, achieve the goal of 60 commercial flight movements per hour as contained in the unsolicited proposal submitted by the private sector.

    He added this is a more practical approach, rather than waiting and relying on the unsolicited proposal’s approval.

    “Even as there are talks of proposals from the private sector, the MIAA continued the rehabilitation of NAIA facilities,” Monreal said.

    The concrete overlay used in the improvement of Runway 13 is expected to last between 15 to 20 years and is less prone to potholes, soft spots and rutting. A concrete surface also requires less maintenance and repair which would mean less traffic delays and flight disruptions in NAIA.

    Better runway and taxiway surface that is free from potholes and surface depression will translate to faster aircraft movement and ground efficiency, while the newly constructed aircraft holding point/taxiway will also increase the aircraft movement area.

    Meanwhile, MIAA and DOTr declined to comment on the status of the unsolicited proposals for NAIA.