(Updated 5:54 p.m., Aug. 30) Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) has revived a 2015 offer to expand its main hub at the Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport given the increasing passenger congestion and lack of facilities to house its growing fleet.
PAL president Jaime Bautista said on Wednesday that the airline is preparing a new proposal to the Department of Transportation for the construction of a P20-billion passenger terminal beside the NAIA Terminal 2, where PAL has been operating exclusively since 1999.
Bautista said a similar proposal was made in 2015, although no action was taken by the previous administration. He said PAL was prepared to spend for the project, although it could also take on partners.
He noted that NAIA, which has four terminals with a combined design capacity of about 30 million passengers annually, currently serves about 42 million passengers per year.
“The main infrastructure constraint is NAIA, the prime gateway to the Philippines. NAIA experienced only an 8 percent growth in passengers last year, and it would be difficult to sustain this rate in coming years,” Bautista told participants in a forum organized by the Management Association of the Philippines on Wednesday.
Bautista said the proposed Terminal 2 Annex building can accommodate an additional 12 to 15 million passengers per year. It would have aerobridges capable of serving 12 to 17 wide-bodied and single aisle jets.
The new terminal would span around 89,000 square meters of added space.
In line with this, PAL is seeking the government’s assistance in securing the lease of additional land around the NAIA complex.
For the Terminal 2 annex building, PAL is eyeing a 16-hectare area adjacent to NAIA 2, comprising of the now-defunct Philippine Village Hotel, the former Nayong Pilipino complex and a property owned by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.
Aside from the passenger terminal, the complex will include multi-level parking for 1,000 vehicles, a new cargo terminal and ground service facilities.
Bautista noted that PAL had taken early steps to decongest NAIA.
“We’re already building up a new network of local and regional flights from Clark, Cebu, Puerto Princesa, Davao, Caticlan and Kalibo,” Bautista said. JPV
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