Dec 292014

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) has totally abandoned plans to put up a P2.4 billion parallel runway and is instead looking at putting up a new passenger terminal building to accommodate passengers at the congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya is now looking at putting up a new passenger terminal building in the supposed location of the proposed parallel runway and at the same time push through with the NAIA runway optimization project.

The proposed 2,100-meter parallel runway was supposed to increase airport capacity shortfall by allowing more take-offs and landings.

However, Abaya said a Netherlands-based consultant recommended the construction of a new terminal instead of putting up a parallel runway.

The DOTC has tapped To70 managing director Ruud Ummels to study the feasibility of the proposed NAIA Terminal 5 in front of the Lufthansa Teknik Philippines.

The Netherland’s based company edged US-based MITRE and NATS of the United Kingdom that pused for the construction of a parallel runway to increase the capacity of NAIA’s intersecting runway to about 60 to 70 movements per hour or about 40 per hour.

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“The consultant said the main thing to do is preserve your main runway, maximize your main runway, try to eliminate all forms of obstructions or delays on it, keep planes off it most of the time. Given that as your main objective in runway optimization, planes crossing that is definitely not a welcome operation. Off hand he was saying, there’s more prospects to a new terminal than a third runway,” the DOTC chief said.

Unlike the construction of a third runway parallel to Runway 06-24 that is expected to displace 120 houses in Paranaque, Abaya explained the proposed terminal building would not result to the dislocation of families in the area.

“Now the runway optimization project, let us say it can increase the events to low 60s high 50s per hour from currently 40, that will require additional terminal space so we have to create space at Terminals 1, 2, and 3,” Abaya said.

According to Abaya the plan would be executed by the end of 2015 as it would take To70 a year to complete the study.

Abaya said the DOTC would also pursue the expansion of Terminals 2 and 3 to accommodate the growing number of passengers. In 2013, NAIA handled over 32 million passengers.

“Definitely, the new terminal is not the terminal that will absorb all that we need until 2027 or 2028. Even if we put this up, there will still be need for terminal space so we will create more space in Terminals 1, 2, and 3,” he said.

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