Ninoy Aquino International Airport

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Ninoy Aquino International Airport
Paliparang Pandaigdig ng Ninoy Aquino



Airport type Public
Operator Manila International Airport Authority
Serves Manila
Location Parañaque City and Pasay City, Metro Manila
Elevation AMSL 23 m / 75 ft
Coordinates 14.50861, 121.01944
Direction Length Surface
m ft
06/24 3,737 12,261 Concrete
13/31 2,258 7,408 Concrete
Statistics (2005)
Passengers 16,193,611
Aircraft movements 131,019
Metric tonnes of cargo 412,167
Statistics from the Air Transportation Office. [1]

The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Filipino: Paliparang Pandaigdig ng Ninoy Aquino) or NAIA IATA: MNL ICAO: RPLL is the primary airport serving the Metro Manila Area and the main international gateway of the Philippines.

Located along the border between Pasay City and Parañaque City, it is about 7 kilometers south of the country's capital Manila, and southwest of Makati City's Central Business District and managed by the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), a branch of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC).

From May 2005 to May 2006, the airport handled 16,466,000 passengers.



The original airport that served Manila, the Manila International Air Terminal, was opened in July 1937 on Nielson Field, located in what is now the central business district of Makati. In 1948, the airport was moved to its current site adjacent to the Villamor Airbase, which was then called Nichols Field. The original structure was built on what is now the site of the NAIA-2. In 1981, a new structure was built after a fire damaged the old terminal building, and this new structure is what is now NAIA-1. The new terminal was capable of handling more passengers than the old terminal. Previously named Manila International Airport, it was later renamed to its present name on August 17, 1987, by virtue of Republic Act No. 6639, with the intention of honoring Benigno Aquino, Jr., whose nickname was Ninoy. Ninoy was the husband of former president Corazon Aquino, and the opposition senator who was assassinated at the airport shortly after he arrived in the country following his political exile in Massachusetts, United States.

Plans for a new terminal were conceived in 1989, when the Department of Transportation and Communications commissioned Aéroports de Paris to do a feasibility study to expand capacity. The recommendation was to build two new terminals, and so NAIA-2 and NAIA-3 were built in the succeeding years.


Terminal 1

The development of the Manila International Airport was spearheaded by President Ferdinand E. Marcos, through the promulgation of Executive Order No. 381, which authorized the airport's development. In 1973, a feasibility study/airport master plan was done by Airways Engineering Corporation through a US$29.6 million loan from the Asian Development Bank. The Detailed Engineering Design of the New Manila International Airport Development Project was done by Renardet-Sauti/Transplan/F.F. Cruz Consultant while the terminal's Detailed Architectural Design was prepared by Leandro Locsin's L.V. Locsin and Associates. [2]

The old Manila International Airport terminal building

In 1974, the detailed designs were adopted by the Philippine Government and was subsequently approved by the Asian Development Bank on September 18, 1975. Actual work on the terminal began during the second quarter of 1978.

The terminal was completed in 1981 and had a size of 67,000 square meters with a design capacity of 4.5 million passengers per year. It currently serves all non-Philippine Airlines international flights. In 1989, a Master Plan Review recommended the construction of two new terminals (NAIA 2 and NAIA 3), as well as many other facility improvements. [2] The terminal reached capacity in 1991, when it registered a total passenger volume of 4.53 million. Since 1991, the terminal has been over capacity and has been recording an annual average growth rate of 11%. [2] It has 18 airbridges and services 27 airlines (as of July 2006). Interestingly enough, the building does not have a Gate 8 and a Gate 13. Compared to international terminals in other Asian countries, Terminal 1 consistently ranks at the bottom, with limited and outdated facilities, poor passenger comfort, and the facility long ago exceeded its design capacity. Extremely long waits are common everywhere from passenger check-in, through a crowded and stuffy immigration area, and on toward the gates areas which sometimes do not have enough seating for passengers.

Terminal 2 "Centennial Terminal"

The second terminal, NAIA-2, located at the Old MIA Road and was finished in 1998 and began operations in 1999. It has been named Centennial Terminal in commemoration of the centennial year of the declaration of Philippine independence. The 75,000 square meter terminal was originally designed by Aéroports de Paris to be a domestic terminal, but the design was later modified to accommodate international flights. It has a capacity of 2.5 million passengers per year in its international wing and 5 million in its domestic wing, which later will expand to nine million passengers yearly. Terminal 2 is the home of Philippine Airlines and is used for both its domestic and international flights. It has the most flights out of all the NAIA terminals. This terminal is used by Philippine Airlines and its sister company Air Philippines It is divided into 2 wings the North Wing which handles international flights and the South Wing which handles domestic flights. It currently has 12 airbridges.

The need for two more terminals was proposed by a Master Plan Review of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport that was undertaken in 1989 by Aéroports de Paris (ADP), which was facilitated through a grant from the French Government. The review cost 2.9 million French francs and was submitted to the Philippine Government for evaluation in 1990. [2]

In 1991, the French Government granted a 30 million franc soft loan to the Government of the Philippines, which was to be used to cover the Detailed Architectural and Engineering Design of the NAIA Terminal 2. ADP completed the design in 1992 and in 1994, the Japanese Government granted an 18.12 billion yen soft loan to the Philippine Government to finance 75% of the terminal's construction costs and 100% of the supervision costs. Construction on the terminal began on December 11, 1995 and was formally turned over to the Government of the Philippines on December 28, 1998

Terminal 3

The third terminal of the airport, the larger Terminal 3, is the newest terminal in the NAIA complex. Constructed starting 1997, the terminal is 98% complete as of 2006. It is one of the most controversial projects the Philippine government has gotten involved in, and in some cases is likened to a white elephant. Legal hurdles, including international arbitration cases in both the United States and Singapore as well as technical concerns prohibit its opening. However, the Philippine government hopes to open the terminal by late March or Early April 2007.


The original proposal for the construction of a third terminal was proposed by Asia's Emerging Dragon Corporation (AEDP). AEDP eventually lost the bid to PairCargo and its partner Fraport AG of Germany, who went on to begin construction of the terminal under the administration of Joseph Estrada.

Terminal 3 was approved for construction in 1997 and the structure was mostly completed several years ago and was originally scheduled to open in 2002. The modern US$640 million, 189,000 square meter facility was designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) to have a capacity of 13 million passengers per year. However, a legal dispute between the government of the Philippines and the project's main contractor, PIATCO, over the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) contract, continues to delay final completion and opening of the terminal.

While the original agreement was one in which PairCargo and Fraport AG would operate the airport for several years after its construction, followed by a handing over of the terminal to the Philippine Government, the government offered to buy out Fraport AG for $400 million, to which Fraport agreed. However, before the terminal could be fully completed, then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, calling the contract "onerous," formed a committee to evaluate the agreement to buy out Fraport AG. It is this action that has sparked the most controversy. The Philippine supreme court eventually found the PIATCO contract "null and void."

The current administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo eventually abrogated PIATCO's BOT Contract for allegedly having been anomalous in certain important respects. In a subsequent decision, the Philippine Supreme Court upheld the Philippine Government's position on the matter and declared the BOT contract "null and void" for, among other things, having violated certain provisions of the BOT law. More specifically, the Court found that the original contract was revised to allow for a Philippine Government guarantee of PIATCO's obligations to its creditors, contractors and suppliers. The BOT law disallows the granting of such sovereign guarantees. PIATCO begs to differ and continues to maintain that the provisions cited by the Supreme Court do not amount to a prohibited sovereign guarantee by the Philippine Government.

On December 2004, the Philippine Government expropriated the terminal project from PIATCO through an order of the Pasay City Regional Trial Court (RTC). However, the court only allowed the Philippine Government to take over the terminal upon payment of an initial amount of PHP3 billion (approx. USD64 million) to PIATCO. The Philippine Government formally paid PIATCO the said amount on the second week of September 2006.

According to the Philippine Government, NAIA-3 is 98% complete and will require at least an additional USD6 million to complete. The government is in the process of negotiating a contract with the builder of the terminal, Takenaka of Japan. Another factor that continues to delay the terminal's opening is the ongoing investigation into the collapse of a 100 sqm. area of the terminal's ceiling. Proposed test runs for Terminal 3 have been postponed indefinitely pending the results of the investigation and the inspection of the airport terminal.

PIATCO (and its German partner Fraport) have instituted arbitration proceedings before different international bodies (Piatco in Singapore before the ICC and Fraport in Washington D.C. before the ICSID) to recover a fair settlement. Both cases remain under litigation. PIATCO, speaking through its lawyers, has recently stated in the local Philippine press that it remains open to reaching an amicable settlement with the Philippine Government.

An article in Manila Standard Today on 26 May 2007 states that the opening of Terminal 3 is still uncertain. Further, the article states that numerous structural problems exist. The two consulting firms commissioned by the Manila International Airport Authority said NAIA-3 was structurally defective and recommended the indefinite postponement of the terminal’s operation until renovation and repairs have been completed.

An article in the Manila Times dates 14 June, 2007 states that the MIAA dropped the Japanese contractor Takenaka beacause of earlier deaf pleas to the request of MIAA to fix the 100 sq. m. part of NAIA-3.

In mid-August 2007, the World Bank dismissed Fraport's claim of compensation for NAIA-3 saying it had no jurisdiction over the matter. Officials consider this as clearing the way for the eventual operation of the said facility. [3]


Terminal 3 is built on a 63.5-hectare lot that sits on Villamor Air Base. The terminal building has a total floor area of 182,500 m2, having a total length of 1.2 kilometers. A 4-level shopping mall connects the terminal and parking buildings. The parking building has a capacity of 2,000 cars while the outdoor parking area has a capacity of 1,200 cars. The terminal is capable of servicing 33,000 passengers daily at peak or 6,000 passengers per hour.

Its apron area has a size of 147,400 m2, 34 air bridges, 20 contact gates with the ability of servicing 28 planes at any given time. The terminal has 70 flight information terminals, 314 display monitors, with 300 kilometers of fiber optic I.T. cabling. It also has 29 restroom blocks. The departure area has five entrances all equipped with X-ray machines with the final security check having 18 X-ray machines while its baggage claim has 7 large baggage carousels, each with its own flight display monitor.

Domestic Terminal

This terminal is host to all domestic flights within the Philippines that are not Philippine Airlines or Air Philippines flights. There are no jet bridges and passengers walk to and from the aircraft or are occasionally bussed. The Domestic Terminal on the old Airport Road was built in 1948 and is located near the north end of Runway 13/31. An old hangar has since been annexed to the terminal.


The following airlines serve Ninoy Aquino International Airport (as of January 2007):

Terminal 1

  • Air Macau (Macau)
  • Air Niugini (Hong Kong, Port Moresby)
  • Asiana Airlines (Busan, Seoul-Incheon)
  • Cathay Pacific (Hong Kong)
  • Cebu Pacific (Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Guangzhou, Hanoi [ends August 17], Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kaohsiung, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Macau, Seoul-Incheon, Shanghai-Pudong, Singapore, Taipei-Taoyuan, Xiamen [ends August 3])
  • China Airlines (Kaohsiung, Taipei-Taiwan Taoyuan)
  • China Southern Airlines (Beijing, Guangzhou, Xiamen)
  • Continental Airlines
    • Continental Airlines operated by Continental Micronesia (Guam, Koror, Yap)
  • Emirates (Dubai)
  • Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi)
  • EVA Air (Taipei-Taiwan Taoyuan)
  • Gulf Air (Manama, Muscat)
  • Hawaiian Airlines (Honolulu)
  • Japan Airlines
    • Japan Airlines operated by JALways (Tokyo-Narita)
  • Jetstar Asia Airways (Singapore)
  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam)
  • Korean Air (Seoul-Incheon)
  • Kuwait Airways (Bangkok, Kuwait)
  • Malaysia Airlines (Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur)
  • Northwest Airlines (Detroit, Los Angeles, Nagoya-Centrair, Tokyo-Narita)
  • Qantas (Brisbane, Sydney)
  • Qatar Airways (Doha)
  • Royal Brunei (Bandar Seri Begawan)
  • Saudi Arabian Airlines (Dammam, Jeddah, Riyadh)
  • Singapore Airlines (Singapore)
  • Thai Airways International (Bangkok, Osaka-Kansai)

Terminal 2 "Centennial Terminal"

  • North Wing
    • Philippine Airlines (Bangkok, Beijing, Busan, Fukuoka, Guam, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Jakarta, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Nagoya-Centrair, Okinawa, Osaka-Kansai, San Francisco, Seoul-Incheon, Shanghai-Pudong, Singapore, Sydney, Taipei-Taiwan Taoyuan, Tokyo-Narita, Vancouver, Xiamen)
  • South Wing
    • Philippine Airlines (Bacolod, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Cotobato City, Davao, Dipolog, General Santos, Iloilo, Kalibo, Laoag, Legazpi, Puerto Princesa, Roxas City, Tacloban, Tagbilaran, Zamboanga)
    • Air Philippines (Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Dumaguete, General Santos, Iloilo, Naga, Puerto Princesa, Tugueragao, Zamboanga)

Domestic Terminal

  • Asian Spirit (Baguio, Basco, Busuanga, Calbayog, Catarman, Davao, Malay, Masbate, Pagadian [seasonal], San Fernando, San Jose (Antique), Surigao, Virac)
  • Cebu Pacific (Bacolod, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Cotabato City, Davao, Dipolog, Dumaguete, General Santos, Iloilo, Kalibo, Laoag, Legazpi, Puerto Princesa, Roxas City, Tacloban, Tagbilaran, Zamboanga City)
  • Interisland Airlines (Malay, Tablas)
  • South East Asian Airlines (Basco [seasonal], Busuanga, El Nido, Malay, Manila-Clark, Taytay)

Former airlines

The following airlines previously served Ninoy Aquino International Airport:

  • Aeroflot
  • Aerolift Philippines
  • Air Ads
  • Air France
  • Air Manila International
  • Air Nauru
  • Alitalia
  • British Airways
  • Canadian Airlines
  • Czech Airlines
  • Pakistan International Airlines
  • Pan American World Airways
  • Royal Jordanian
  • Sabena
  • Scandinavian Airlines System
  • Swissair
  • Swiss International Air Lines
  • Trans World Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • Vietnam Airlines

International Cargo Terminal

The following cargo airlines serve Ninoy Aquino International Airport:

  • Air France Cargo
  • China Airlines Cargo
  • DHL
  • FedEx
  • Korean Air Cargo
  • KLM Cargo
  • JAL Cargo
  • Lufthansa Cargo
  • Nippon Cargo Airlines
  • Northwest Airlines Cargo
  • Qatar Airways Cargo
  • Singapore Airlines Cargo
  • Tarom Cargo
  • Thai Cargo
  • United Parcel Service

Note: Philippine carriers use different hangars for their domestic and international cargo services.



NAIA has a primary runway (3,737 m) running at 061°/241° (designated as Runway 06/24) and a secondary runway (2,258 m) running at 136°/316° (designated as Runway 13/31).

NAIA has two operational international terminals, with the third one scheduled to open by March 2007, and a separate domestic terminal.

Other structures

The airport also serves as a gateway facility of the logistics company DHL, and hosts the aircraft repair and maintenance facilities of German firm Lufthansa Technik AG, a division of Lufthansa.

Ground transportation

Taxi service is available to NAIA from all points of Metro Manila. Also, jeepney and bus routes are also available to the airport. Both forms of transportation connect all three NAIA terminals as well.

The airport is also connected to the Light Rail Transit LRT Yellow Line by a two-kilometer taxi ride to Baclaran Station. In the future, another LRT line is to be constructed to connect LRT Yellow Line's Baclaran Station, nearer but still indirectly, to the airport's 3 terminals.

See also


  1. ^ PASSENGER MOVEMENT CY 2001-2005, Air Transportation Office, retrieved July 8, 2007
  2. a b c d Airport : Terminal 1 Manila International Airport Authority Accessed September 7, 2006
  3. ^ Ubac, Michael Lim. RP wins $425-M case. Philippine Daily Inquirer. 18 August 2007.
  4. ^ Hawaiian Airlines (2007-08-27). Hawaiian Airlines To Launch Manila Flights. Press release. Retrieved on 2007-08-28.

External links

Template:Major airports in the Philippines

Original Source

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