NAIA T3 Open for business

Written by admin on July 23, 2008 – 3:44 pm -

Mothballed since 2002 due to legal and structural reasons, NAIA’s (Ninoy Aquino International Airport) Terminal 3 is finally operational albeit partially and initially for domestic flights. First to use the terminal was Cebu Pacific’s ATR 72 turboprop bound for Caticlan. PAL Express will also be using the new terminal  next week. 

Soft launching the new terminal for domestic operations is probably a good move since it will give airport authorities a chance to iron out the bugs associated with most new airport openings without having to worry about the more complicated nature of international operations.

Unlike other new airports in the asian region, NAIA’s Terminal 3 seems to be yet just another stand-alone structure, not much thought has been given into how it fits into the rest of the existing airport. For starters how do passengers with connecting flights get to the other terminals? The only way is to physically exit the terminal and commute through the traffic clogged streets to get to another terminal. What about transiting passengers? Do they have to clear immigrations and customs too to get to another terminal?

From an architectural stand point, the terminal doesn’t look too shabby but compared to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi or South Korea’s Incheon International Airport, T3 looks somewhat like a domestic terminal, I’m aware that the structure was designed in 2000 but even during those days, most modern structures were constructed with steel and glass and were more of cylindrical designs rather than the boxy form of T3.

Lastly from an operational perspective, how much traffic can NAIA’s two runway’s handle. The most utilized runway is called runway 06 and runway 24 which span over 6000 ft from SLEX to the Multinational access road in Sucat Paranaque because it can handle large aircraft such as 777 and 747′s, the second runway is much shorter and is used mostly by smaller aircraft. In contrast, Incheon International Airport just opened up a third runway in additional to its existing two parallel 6000ft runways.  So can we expect more delays in departures and arrivals due to airport traffic?

In the long term I do hope that they maintain all of these structures properly and no let it derriorate into the pathetic state that NAIA Terminal 1 has become.


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Posted in Philippines | 1 Comment »


One Response to “NAIA T3 Open for business”

  1. By Wendy on Jul 24, 2008 | Reply

    good thing that it’s finally put into use. you’re right about the interconnection. incheon has opened a new terminal and it has a subway train exclusively for its use… same with beijing international airport. the subway train in both airports make it so convenient for passengers… and they have duty free shops, too… sadly, our duty free shop’s location is such a hasslee to go to…

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